Hundreds rally in Paktika against governor’s removal
SHARAN (Pajhwok): Hundreds of people on Monday rallied in the capital of southeastern Paktika province against the removal of Abdul Karim Matin as the provincial governor and warned his replacement was not acceptable to them.
Matin was unseated as Paktika governor two days ago in light of a decision by the National Security Council (NSC) after the former governor alleged the NSC had distributed money to families linked to the self-styled Islamic State or Daesh group.
The NCS had rejected Matin’s allegation and said the previous government had distributed $250,000 among displaced families from Pakistan’s North Waziristan tribal region to Pakitka.
Pajhwok Afghan News has obtained some official documents that show the assistance has been given to displaced families through different delegations.
Later Matin had told a press conference that he had been quoted out of context. His removal as governor sparked a protest demonstration on Monday.
Hundreds of people, including some provincial council members, attended the rally. The protestors insisted Matin was the only suitable governor for Paktika in the current circumstances.
Carrying photos of Matin and waving national flags, the protestors chanted slogans in support of the former governor. One of them, Nimatulah Babri, the provincial council deputy head, told Pajhwok Afghan News that security had improved in the province after Matin’s appointment as governor.
He said Matin had been able to reduce corruption in provincial departments and the gap between the people and the government.
“His removal was an unjust decision by the national security council and can once again increase the gulf between the masses and the government,” he said.
Babari warned they would close the doors of the provincial council office if Matin was not reinstated as governor.
Tribal elder Maulvi Abdul Manan also threatened they would shut all government entities if Matin was not reinstated.
Another elder Abdul Aleem said Matin was the only governor in the past 13 years to create coordination among tribes, religious scholars and the government, raising hopes for a better future.
The protesters also issued a statement that called as unfair the decision to remove Abdul Karim Matin as the governor of Paktika. It warned all government departments would be closed if Matin was not reappointed as the governor.
The statement called Matin as a sensible, patriot and experienced person and urged the president to reinstate him as governor.
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