New Farah governor vows to reopen Gulistan road
FARAH CITY (Pajhwok): The governor has said plans were ready to improve economy and security in the Gulistan district of western Farah province.
During a visit to the volatile town, 240 km east of Farah City, the provincial capital, Governor Mohammad Asif Nang promised he would reopen the road connecting the district with provincial capital.
The road has been closed since June last year by Taliban insurgents, who control most of the town’s 219 villages.
The highway’s closure has landed local residents in trouble as they face many problems while travelling on the route.
Nang, who recently assumed charge as Farah’s new governor, was flown to the district’s centre on Tuesday, heading a delegation.
The delegation included Gen. Taji Mohammad Mujahid, the 207th Zafar Military Corps commander in the western zone.
Nang addressed a gathering of about 300 local residents in a mosque of the district centre’s Qala-i-Kohna village.
The residents spoke about problems they were facing and criticised the government for paying no heed to their concerns.
The mosque’s prayer leader, Mullah Abdul Hadi, spoke on behalf of the area residents and said: “The district road remains closed for the last 10 months and we can’t go outside the town to bring daily-use items. The price of every commodity has doubled here.”
The imam said if their problems were ignored, hundreds of families of the district would be left with no option but to migrate to Kandahar, Helmand and other provinces.
He said another village “Ghozinai” fell to the Taliban few days back due to government’s negligence. The rebels torched a school and had raised their white flags in the village, the imam said.
“We are running out of patience. If the government cannot provide us security, it should tell us to leave homes and move elsewhere.”
In his address to the gathering, Gulistan district chief Mohammad Qasim Majboor said the government controlled only five villages in the entire district and the Taliban held sway in the rest.
“Most of the Taliban have come from Pakistan. Many of their leaders for Farah, including Mullah Zakir, live in the district,” he said.
The official added 40 policemen and a 300-member group of Afghan National Army (ANA) troops were stationed in the district, but the troops only maintained their own security.
The district chief warned if the government paid no attention to the situation, the insurgents would capture soon the town’s remaining parts, urging the governor to make substantial efforts at reopening the district’s road.
Governor Nang said he had newly been appointed, but he could realise the problems the people of Gulistan faced. “That’s why I am here. I promise to use full force to reopen the road.”
He informed plans had been chalked out in connection with improving local economy and security in the district and the plans would be implemented soon for the sake of positive changes in people’s lives.
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