Taliban allow schools, clinics to operate in Khoshamand
SHARANA (Pajhwok): The residents of Khoshamand district of southeastern Paktika province say the Taliban have allowed the construction of schools and health clinics in the district ending their 14-year opposition to the development of the two key sectors.
The residents of Khoshamand remained deprived of education and health facilities for the past 14 years due to Taliban’s opposition.
A resident of the town, Syed Noor Abidi, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the Taliban were in control of most parts of the district, with the government controlling a small part.
He said the government only controlled the district centre and the rest of the district was under Taliban influence. “The Taliban in the Deli area have established their own district headquarters, municipality and other departments in the same district.”
The resident said the Taliban recently invited local residents to a gathering and announced that they would no longer oppose the construction of schools and health clinics in the district.
“Our children were long deprived of education. Now we demand of the government to construct schools and clinics in our district as soon as possible.”
Another resident of the district, Munir Ahmad, also said the Taliban had allowed schools and health centres to be operational in the district.
“The Taliban have softened their stance, even they have told local residents to support the security forces against Pakistani aggression. Now the government should take advantage of the opportunity,” he said.
Izzatullah, another resident of the Khoshamand district, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the Taliban had provided a good chance to the people and the government should avail the opportunity and should construct buildings for schools and health centres.
He said if the government did not seize the opportunity, it would tantamount to a great betrayal of the Khoshamand dwellers.
Other residents held similar views.
The town’s administrative chief, Gulab Khan, also told Pajhwok Afghan News that the Taliban had allowed schools and health centre to become functional in the district. However, he did not elaborate.
Pakitka education director Kuchai Zazi said there had been no school in the district due to insecurity and other related reasons over the past 14 years.
“We had the plan to build schools in Khoshamand, but it did not happen and thus people were deprived of education.”
He said if elders of the district cooperated with the education department, they would soon launch construction works on school buildings.
Paktika public health director Dr. Wali Gul Nazar also said they would establish health clinics in the Khoshamand district under an organized plan.
He said construction work on a clinic had already been launched and the project was 50 percent complete.
The Taliban also confirmed the residents’ account. The group spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said the Taliban had allowed schools to operate in Khoshamand and other several areas but on the condition that the curriculum would be of their choice.
He did not go into specifics. Mujahid said they did not oppose health centres because they served common people.
Currently, 381 schools are operating in Paktika, with 239 schools lacking buildings and the remaining 32 have been closed due to insecurity.
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