Peace talks with Taliban to continue, says Ghani
GARDEZ (Pajhwok): President Ashraf Ghani on Sunday praised security forces for their stubborn resistance to Taliban attacks in the Janikhel and Chamkani districts of southeastern Paktia province and thanked local residents for their cooperation with the forces.
President Ghani, who arrived in the provincial capital Gardez, visited the 203 Thunder Military Corps base and met with military officers, soldiers and other security officials there. He also held a meeting with civil society activists, provincial council members, tribal elders and others.
Happy over no major incident of violence taking place in the central capital Kabul and provinces during Eid holidays, the president said he supported the continuation of peace talks with the Taliban.
The Afghan government and Taliban representatives for the first time held formal direct talks in Pakistan on July 7, amid increasing insurgent attacks in many parts of Afghanistan. Participants of the meeting in Murree agreed to meet again after Eidul Fitr.
In Paktia, tribal elders urged President Ghani to fulfill promises his government had held out to them regarding development projects and others.
They also called for resumption of work which had been halted on several projects, including a key hydropower and irrigation dam in the Ahmadabad district.
Completion of the Machalgho dam would help produce electricity and irrigate hundreds of acres of land in the province, the elders said.
About five years ago, the Ministry of Water and Energy had signed agreement with a Russian firm on construction of the dam. At the time, the ministry had said the dam would be constructed over the next three years, but so far only 20 percent work on the project has been completed.
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