Baghlanis, Ghoris rally against governors
FIROZKOH/PUL-I-KHUMRI (Pajhwok): Hundreds of people in western Ghor and northern Baghlan provinces on Tuesday protested against their respective governors.
The protestors in Ghor chanted slogans against the governor and accused him of grabbing state-owned land.
One of the protest organisers, Hamidullah Motahid, told Pajhwok Afghan News that Governor Syed Anwar Rahmati had assumed office two years ago but had not been able to do something benefiting residents.
He said the security situation deteriorated during Rahmati’s tenure, calling for the acting governor to be removed and replaced with a competent individual. “We don’t want this governor, we want him to be removed from his position,” he said.
The governor’s spokesman, Abdulhai Khatibi, said protest was people’s right, but today’s demonstration was organised by individuals aiming to serve their personal interests.
He said the provincial administration had been successful in effectively discharging its responsibilities toward residents and the decision to remove a governor rested with the central government.
The protesters also accused civil society activists of supporting the governor. But head of civil society groups association, Khudayar Waqif, said they were not puppets in hands of the governor and had always raised their voice for people’s rights.
He added today’s protest had nothing to do with civil society groups but stemmed from differences between the protestors and the government.
In Baghlan, residents gathered in front of the governor’s house, accusing the governor of inefficiency. The protestors left a letter at one of the gates of the governor’s office, accusing the governor of being lazy.
A 60-year-old Mohammad Zahir, one of the protestors, said land-grabbers had occupied state properties but the governor had been silent.
He added the governor, Sultan Mohammad Ebadi, was unconcerned about people’s problems and that was why they left the letter for him to read.
“During the past 13 years of former president Hamid Karzai’s government, Ebadi has been the laziest governor doing nothing to prevent irregularities, corruption and criminals.”
“We just want you to leave your position to someone responsible,” demonstrators wrote in their letter.
However, the governor’s spokesman, Mohammad Haqmal, said the governor had provided a number of facilities to people but the protestors were unaware of them.
“The governor had in person traveled to districts to eradicate poppy crops and oversee the implementation of development projects,” he said.
He said the local government had been serious in its crackdown on land grabbers and so far 6,000 acres of land had been recovered from their illegal occupants.
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