Kabul-Gardez highway reopens after 2 days of protests
GARDEZ (Pajhwok): Protestors in southeastern Paktia province have reopened the Kabul-Gardez highway for traffic after two days of closure, an official said on Saturday.
Hundreds of businessmen, civil society activists and provincial council members had blocked the highway, accusing Kabul of discriminating against the people of the province.
The province received little support in terms of reconstruction and security from the central capital, the protestors alleged, asking the government to reactivate the Afghanistan Investment Support Agency (AISA) zonal branch.
AISA Director Nasir Alamyar told Pajhwok Afghan News the demonstrators had reopened the highway after a high-level delegation arrived from Kabul in Paktia to explore a solution to the issue.
“A high-level delegation of public representatives, influential individuals and government officials on Friday arrived here and met traders. They promised to resolve all problem of traders,” he added.
It would become clear in a week whether or not the delegation could be of any help, Alamyar added. “If the team failed to resolve the issue, traders would return to protests,” he warned.
Provincial Council Chairman Sardar Mohammad Malang said: “We ask the government to reactivate the AISA’s zonal branch in Paktia and solve businessmen’s problems.”
An AISA officer, wishing anonymity, said seven ministers had decided the zonal branch in Paktia should be shifted to Khost province. The branch was opened in 2011 in Paktia before being shifted Khost a week ago.
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