Ghor residents rally against lopsided development
FEROZKOH (Pajhwok): Residents of western Ghor province on Sunday protested against what they called lopsided development, warning of withdrawing support to the government if the issue was not resolved on priority.
Participants of the rally stoutly supported completion of the Salma Dam -- also called the Afghan-India Friendship Dam -- in western Herat province. However, they stressed the need for accelerating workon the Pozalich Dam in Ghor.
The protestors chanted “We want balanced development and the government should not treat as like second-class citizens.”
Ghulam Nabi Saqi, a civil society activist, told Pajhwok Afghan News supporting the Salma Dam’s construction by India was one of their aims.“We want neighbours to bring light instead of war and violence to Afghanistan.”
Another purpose behind the demonstration was to force the government to provide electricity from Salma Dam to the Shahrak-wa-Tolak district of Ghor province, he added. The district is located near the dam.
The construction of Pozalich Dam was one of the demands of Ghor people, he maintained. The government had pledged 15 years ago to construct the dam but the promise was yet to be kept, Saqi alleged.
A provincial council member, Abdul Hamid Natiqi, regretted that despite having Murghab, Farah Rod and Hari Rod Rivers, Ghor people were living in the dark.
He said Ferozkoh residents were using power generatorsat night. Each kilowatt of the electricity costs 60 afghanis.
“It is not balanced development or social justice. Ghor province has no electricity and asphalted roads, the government is treating us as second-class citizens,” he continued.
Maulvi Shamsul Haq, a representative of the Ulema Council, said Ghor residents had always supported the government and given legitimacy to the current system by voting for the incumbent rulers.
He said that the government should put an end to injustice and pay attention to people’s problems.“Ghor people have been victims of discrimination for the past 15 years, having no access to electricity, asphalted roads or important projects.”
The religious scholar asked the government to accelerate work on the Poza Lich Dam and extend electricity from Salma Dam to Ghor; otherwise the people would not support it any longer.
The protestors also read out a resolution letter that asked the government to respond to the legal demands of the people without any delay.
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