Govt won’t talk peace from a weak position: Ghani
KABUL (Pajhwok): Ordering division of the Shindand region into several districts, President Ashraf Ghani on Monday said the war has been imposed on Afghanistan to force the government to negotiate peace from a weak position.
The president, who arrived in western Herat province, was talking to elders, religious scholars and civil society representatives at the governor’s house in Herat City, the provincial capital, a statement from the Presidential Palace in Kabul said.
The president endorsed proposals from the elders and representatives and said he had directed the Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG) chief to increase the number districts in Herat.
Shindand district is 130 kilometres from Herat City with an area of 6762 km square and a population of about 800,000 people. Shindand is Afghanistan’s largest district as its area and population exceed areas and populations of some provinces, but it is allotted funds equal to other districts.
The president said the map of Shindand district had been prepared and soon measures would be taken to divide the district into few towns.
The president did not say in how many districts, Shindand will be divided, but it is said the town will be divided into three or four districts.
President Ashraf Ghani said he had directed the ministries of defence, interior and other government departments to fulfill the needs of the Afghan National Army, police and universities from domestic production.
About efforts at combating corruption and ensuring transparency in government departments, the president said he himself administered all supplies and held meetings lasting five hours each on every Saturday evening in this regard.
He said he had directed the Public Works Minister to review all contracts. He said no political bigwig could obtain contract, urging politicians to represent the nation not individuals.
The president said Herat would be the only province to have uninterrupted electricity in one year’s time. He said electricity would be supplied from Turkmenistan to Mazar-i-Sharif, from there to Kabul and then Kandahar.
He said in his talks with the president of Turkmenistan that form of the electricity movement was changed into a straight line in order to directly supply power to Herat, Nimroz, Farah, Helmand and Kandahar, besides completion of the rail road, the gas pipeline and the Noori optic fiber projects.
The president said Herat should be intersection of the two railways lines and vowed to change the province into Asia’s square and the centre of inventions and knowledge.
While praising security forces for their patriotism and sacrifices, the president insisted the national security forces needed support of elders, particularly of religious scholars.
“The war is imposed on us to make us appear before peace talks from a weak position, but the government and the people of Afghanistan will never speak from a weak position.”
Calling ulema’s role as fundamental, the president said the government valued their role, saying the national unity government was trying to establish centres of religious edicts and Islamic services. “I want the unity of mosque and the presidential palace and cooperation between religious seminary and university.”
The president asked civil society groups to join hands with his government in fighting corruption.
He directed the governor of Herat to distribute one-fourth part of the industrial park to investors and warned powerful individuals against creating hurdle in the distribution process, saying anyone tried so would be expelled from Herat.
Earlier, addressing the Zafar Militry Corps, the president said the enemies of Afghanistan did not want the country to stand on its feet. “Enemy wants us weak but we are negotiating from a position of strength,” Ghani added.
Compensations to martyred soldiers and financial support for wounded soldiers would be doubled, he pledged. The Afghan Air Force would get special attention to be improved, he said, adding the Zafar Military Corps would be equipped with all needed facility in next two weeks.
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