Efforts to impede reforms intolerable, says Ghani
KABUL (Pajhwok): President Ashraf Ghani has taken a dig at corrupt individuals and groups that are trying to impede his administration’s reform agenda and bringing a bad name to the country, like Taliban and Daesh militants.
In a televised address to the nation on Sunday night, the president spoke on a wide range of issues of national importance, including the current security environment, Warsaw and Brussels conferences and the peace process.
“Before anything else, I pray for souls of martyrs, both civilians and security personnel, and extend sincere condolences to their families. They were recently martyred by obscurantists in Kunduz, Helmand, Farah, Uruzgan and other provinces,” he said.
The president announced a relief package of 70 million afghanis for those affected by ongoing clashes in Kunduz and another 30 million afs war victims in Uruzgan. Conflict-affected people in other provinces were promised similar assistance.
He said the forces of ignorance felt no shame harassing the innocent people. A large number of Kunduz City residents had been going without water, food and electricity for several days, with militants converting civilians homes into trenches, he lamented.
Ghani commended soldiers, policemen and other security personnel for once again thwarting the enemy’s sinister conspiracies. He said reinforcements had arrived in Kunduz to punish the country’s foes, he added.
“In Farah, security forces have launched emergency measures to stabilize the situation. Similarly, extremist attacks have been defeated or are about to be beaten back in other regions as well,” he claimed, accusing the fighters of trying to under his government’s achievements.
Another objective behind recent attacks was to prove the government’s peace deal with the Hezb-i-Islami Afghanistan (HIA) a failure, he said. Additionally, India’s announcement of $1 billion fresh in aid to Afghanistan had also worried the enemies of progress, he noted.
“Besides focusing on educating, equipping and strengthening our security forces, we should simultaneously continue peace efforts. While the enemy wants to continue fighting and massacres, our real aim is to rebuild the country and bring prosperity to the people,” he remarked.
After clinching a deal with the Hekmatyar-led HIA, Ghani said: “By the same token, we want to launch peace parleys with the Taliban, who don’t promote the interests of outsiders or ruining Afghanistan at their behest, embrace the constitution and uphold Islamic values.”
Power generation would see a huge increase with the construction of a second dam in the Sarobi district of Kabul and rehabilitation of Kajaki dam in Helmand, he hoped.
Ghani declared he would no longer tolerate efforts at hampering good governance and reforms. The elements trying to scuttle his government’s agenda, involved in corruption or having links to mafia groups would be dealt with sternly, he warned.
He went on to urge political forces to support administrative reforms in the supreme national interest and not to let what he called a historic chance fizzle out.
“Taliban and Daesh members, who brazenly kill you, are not your sole enemy. Your real foes are the corrupt individuals and groups that are resisting reforms and defaming the country,” the president said.
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