President visit raises hope for change in Kandahar
KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): Residents of southern Kandahar province on Wednesday said recent visit by President Ashraf Ghani has raised the hope he would fulfill promises about positive changes in the situation of the province.
President Ghani, accompanied by high-ranking government officials, visited Kandahar the previous day and addressed gatherings involving government officials, tribal elders and civil society activists.
The president mostly talked about reforms in government entities and what his government was doing about that and recent developments in relations with neighbouring Pakistan.
Noorul Bari Mal, a civil society activist, told Pajhwok Afghan News it was for the first time that the people had raised fundamental issues and problems in Kandahar with the president in open and large meetings.
He said the president was told that there were powerful elements who interfered in government affairs and influenced appointments and used the affairs for their personal benefits.
He said it was hope-giving that people had found the courage to speak about major issues and that it seemed reforms and change topped their demands. He said it was a positive development that the president set himself a deadline to materialize his pledges.
In response to people’s demands, the president said he and the governor had investigated problems in provincial government departments and on the basis of their investigation, positive change would come to Kandahar in two weeks.
Mal said the president made it clear that only the governor was his representative and there was no place for a parallel authority in Kandahar.
Another Kandahar City resident, Abdul Waseh Hasyal, held similar views. He said the president’s resolve to honour his pledges was strong. Hope for positive change raised when the president set a deadline to meet his pledges, he said.
He said the president gave time to everyone from security officials to government officials, tribal elders, women, civil society activists and listened to their problems. He said the president noted all the problems mentioned on papers.
The issue of electricity in Kandahar City also came up for discussion and the president said it would be resolved through short and long term projects within available resources.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.