Mammoth protest ends as Ghani offers talks on power project
KABUL Pajhwok): Vice-President Mohammad Karim Khalili’s call on Monday convinced thousands of people to end a mammoth protest in the heart of Kabul against the route of a multi-country power project.
The angry protestors asked the government to execute the 500kV power project through Bamyan and Maidan Wardak provinces instead of the Salang Pass, but Khalili urged them to return homepeacefully.
In his speech, the VP said the protestors wanted justice and balance in the government’s development initiative.He lashed out at the authorities for blocking roads with containers to hamper the demonstration.
The barriers would not stop the masses raising their voice for justice, Khalili remarked, warning the protests would continue until the cabinet decision was changing the project’s route was reversed.
Hours earlier, President Ashraf Ghani explained the decision on implementing TUTAP project through the Salang Pass had been taken by the Hamid Karzai administration in 2013. The incumbent government had delayed the project to ensure supply of electricity to Bamyan, he said.
In a statement from his office, the president said funds had been arranged for the supply of 300 megawatt of electricity to Bamyan -- a project which would be completed until 2018. The government also sent delegation to urge the protesters to for talks at the Palace on the transmission line.
Work on the transmission line had been suspended and the government would adopt measures for modification or advancement of the project based on recommendations of a commission, the statement concluded.
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