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Paktia protestors warn against change in TUTAP project route

Paktia protestors warn against change in TUTAP project route

May 10, 2016 - 15:30

GARDEZ (Pajhwok): Hundreds of people from southern Paktia province staged a rally, asking President Ashraf Ghani not to change the route of a multinational power project.

The Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Tajikistan-Afghanistaninfo-icon-Pakistaninfo-icon (TUTAP) power project will import 500kv of electricity from Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan to Pakistan through Afghanistan.

Hundreds of people, including tribal elders and civil societyinfo-icon activists, gathered in Paktia province, urging the president to implement the TUTAP project through the Salang passinfo-icon.

The protestors chanted slogans that implementation of the project through Paktia province was their right, an issue they said should not be politicised.

Shayesta Jan, a civil society activist who participated in the rally, told Pajhwok Afghan News that 60 percent work on the project had been completed in Paktia. He said it would be an injustice if the project route was altered.

A tribal elder, Habibullah Mastan, declared: “We have no problem with other provinces, but we will not let anyone snatch our rights.” He said the government should use other resources for electrifying Bamyan and other provinces.

Mastan warned the government of a knee-jerk reaction if the route of the project was changed. In the interest of social harmony, he hoped, the authorities would not allow things to come to such a sorry pass.

According to another report, civil society activists of southern Helmand province also stressed the route of the project should not be changed. Helmand civil society institutes’ head, Sardar Mohammad Hamdard, said differences over the project route could lead to disputes.

Agha Mohammad Quraishi, a civil society activist, alleged some politicians were provoking Bamyan residents to serve their personal interests. He said the government should look for an alternative way to electrify Bamyan.



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