Govt making sincere efforts for peace: Abdullah
LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdullah Abdullah on Saturday said the unity government had launched realistic and sincere efforts at achieving peace in the country.
Abdullah was addressing a gathering in southern Helmand province. The gathering was attended by the provincial governor, local officials, former jihadi commanders, provincial council members and tribal elders.
The CEO said the government was committed to sincerely advancing the peace process and expected the same from the armed opposition.
“The war is no solution to ending problems. Peace is in the interest of both the sides and the people of Afghanistan.”
About Helmand, Abdullah said, local officials had provided incorrect reports about the situation in Helmand as he heard from local people that the situation was heading in a negative direction.
He asked local security and civil officials to benefit from advices of former jihadi leaders in maintaining security and foiling plans of the insurgents.
“Mujahideen are a solid capacity which should be utilized. Those who say the era of mujahideen is over are mistaken. Mujahideen still hold sway among the masses.”
He blamed the trust deficit between the government and the people on widespread administrative corruption, lack of coordination among security organs, the prolonged stay in office by officials in the previous government and no governance in districts.
Abdullah said all high-ranking officials had luxurious homes in Kabul and other major cities, thus lacking the sense of responsibility and only Afghan National Army soldiers and police laid down their lives in the line of duty while their salaries delayed and the families of martyred personnel longed for assistance.
The CEO said he held an exclusive session with provincial security officials besides discussing problems the provincial education department faced.
He said he had directed the ministries concerned about the construction of Helmand university building and health services.
Speaking on the occasion, Governor Mirza Khan Rahimi said the insurgents had largely focused their activities on northern districts and as a result, the situation in those districts had deteriorated.
He said the situation in southern districts was comparatively stable and their plan was to turn offensive from defensive mode.
The governor said the government should establish factories and develop the agriculture sector in order to find alternate income source for poppy growers.
He said 4000 tonnes of narcotics produced in Helmand this season, with the bulk of harvest ending up in hands of smugglers. He said the narcotics fueled the conflict in the province.
Provincial council chief Haji Karim Atal said their prime demand was security without which no one could govern.
He said joblessness was increasing in the province with the passage of time and as a result, the youth were turning to drugs.
He said a lot needed to be done in areas of health and education in Helmand and urged the unity government to appoint eligible persons in provincial departments.
Senator Hashim Alokozai said the security situation in districts had deteriorated, forcing local residents to flee.
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