President Ghani’s Bamyan visit dubbed ‘demagogic’
BAMYAN CITY (Pajhwok): President Ashraf Ghani on Monday said he was committed to keeping his election campaign promise of ending Hazarajat’s geographical isolation.
Accompanied by Vice-President Sarwar Danish, Deputy Chief Executive Officer Mohammad Muhaqqiq, Cabinet members and foreign diplomats, Ghani arrived in Bamyan City, the provincial capital.
The president first inaugurated the newly-reconstructed Maidan Shahr-Bamyan highway and Shaheed Abdul Ali Mazari Airport before meeting a number of local elders.
The airport was rebuilt at a cost of $5 million by Japan in aid.
The president told Bamyan residents most infrastructure projects and an enormous budget than other provinces would go to Bamyan this year.
“My slogans during election campaign that I will take out Hazarajat from its geographical limitation are being implemented by constructing roads or allocating budget for them.”
Danish said Afghanistan enjoyed a decent position in the comity of nations because of the unity government’s positive actions in fields of anti-corruption and constructing road networks.
He said central areas would soon be freed from the natural prison and many roads would link them to other areas.
He said construction work on the road between Dara-i-Sauf and Yakawlang districts would be inaugurated soon and a 500km portion of the Yakawlang-Kandahar road would also be studied and assessed.
Mohammad Muhaqqiq said President Ghani’s visit to Bamyan was aimed at inaugurating a number of development projects which he called a positive step towards national unity and a balanced development.
He said the unity government had decided to consider basic needs of urbanites and taking innovative steps in all fields in line with available financial resources.
Meanwhile, a number of civil society activists in Bamyan boycotted the gathering addressed by the president and staged a protest in Harikain Chowk.
They renewed their demand for rerouting the 500kv TUTAP power project through Bamyan rather than the Salang Pass, however the protestors faced resistance from police.
The activists said their four colleagues were arrested on Monday morning by Afghan President Protective Service (PPS) officials.
Later the protest turned violent and a number of policemen were wounded when the protestors pelted stones at them.
Mohammad Akhlaqi, a representative of the protestors, told Pajhwok that at least 30 protestors were either beaten or arrested.
A number of reporters who wanted to cover the protest rally were also prevented by police and some reporters got their cameras and other stuff either broken or confiscated.
Ilyas Tahir, Radio Salam Watandar reporter and Sayed Mohammad Hashimi, a reporter with Jamhor News Agency, were those whose equipment were broken and even beaten by the security forces.
Ilyas claimed his tools were snatched and broken by intelligence personnel belonging to the 10th division. He said cameras of many reporters were broken.
They issued a statement that termed President Ghani’s visit to Bamyan as ‘demagogic’ and ‘deceiving’ and called for unconditional release of the activists and the protestors.
They said the arrests were a clear violation of the Constitution and the country’s laws.
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