1,000 rally for new Ghazni mayor, closing busy highway
GHAZNI CITY (Pajhwok): A large number of residents rallied in southern Ghazni City on Wednesday in support of the new mayor, closing the busy Kandahar-Kabul highway.
Nasir Ahmad Lalizai was appointed as Ghazni mayor some two weeks back, but his appointment has drawn instant opposition from some residents. There have been calls for his removal.
Over the past six days, agitators have been on hunger strike, setting up a protest camp in front of the municipality office in Ghazni City -- the provincial capital.
On Wednesday morning, nearly 1,000 people took to the streets in a show of support for the mayor. “Lalizai is a victim of ethnic prejudice,” one demonstrator alleged.
Mir Ahrar told Pajhwok Afghan News they were supportive of the new mayor. The highway linking Kandahar with Kabul has been blocked for several hours now in Pakhtunabad area.
Another protestor, Mohammad Kabir, explained they did not want to inconvenience the people. The only objective behind the road closure was to defend the mayor, he added.
On the other hand, passenger Noor Rahman said: “I wanted to travel to Kandahar and reached here at 8am, but they have blocked the road. People including women and children are stranded inside vehicles.”
While asking for the reopening of the highway, he said protest was a democratic right of all people, who should not cause problems for the general public.
Police spokesman Fahim Amiri confirmed the highway had been closed for several hours, creating trouble for passengers. But the rally had been peaceful, he acknowledged.
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