Paktia elders allege graft in projects
GARDEZ (Pajhwok): Tribal elders have urged the central government to launch mega reconstruction projects in southeastern Paktia province.
The elders held a gathering in Gardez on Friday. They urged President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai and Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah to send a powerful delegation to Paktia to investigate administrative corruption.
One of the speakers, Haji Khwanai Jahanai, said various infrastructure development projects had been executed in Paktia over the past decade, but there had been corruption as well in these projects.
He said the projects were of low quality because they had changed many hands before being implemented.
The elder said the stipulated time for reconstruction work on the Khost-Gardez Highway and the Machlaghu Dam had long passed, but the work was yet to be completed.
Another speaker, Noor Ahmad Rikhtiawal, warned of launching protest rallies if their demands were ignored.
He said no mega project could be completed in Paktia over the past decade and those completed had low quality.
He alleged some government buildings had been built with money meant for distribution to farmers for not cultivating poppy crops in the province.
He said they had evidence and documents showing corruption had been committed in various projects in Paktia. He urged President Ahmadzai and CEO Abdullah to send a powerful delegation to investigate their claims.
However, the governor’s spokesman, Roohullah Samon, rejected the allegations and said a handful of individuals organised such gatherings to promote their own interests.
He said a playground, a big hospital and a mosque costing one million dollars were inaugurated in the Samkanai district last week alone.
He said it was also last week when some mega projects were launched on the university campus and several projects had been completed in the provincial capital, Gardez, and districts over the past few months.
About the delay in completion of work on the Khost-Gardez highway and the Machlaghu dam, the gubernatorial spokesman said work on the two projects was related to the central government and had nothing to do with the provincial administration.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.