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Life paralyzed in Gardez due to security barriers

Life paralyzed in Gardez due to security barriers

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Dec 10, 2017 - 16:31

GARDEZ (Pajhwok): The authorities in southeastern Paktia province have closed general roads inside the provincial capital, Gardez, and a highway that connects the city with several districts, causing a great deal of inconvenience to residents.

Residents say they have to divert to uneven routes to reach their destinations as the general roads have been closed in the city.

They say roads have been blocked in front of the Governor’s House, police headquarters, border police and the court.

The residents call the road blocks as illegal and demand the authorities immediately remove the security barricades from roads.

Haji Mohammd Wali, a resident of Gardez’s Shah area, said the border police had permanently closed the highway north of the city over the past few months.

He said the highway connected Gardez with a number of districts, but the border police were allowing no one to travel on it.

Wali told Pajhwok Afghan News the closure of Badpakh road had compelled commuters to divert to uneven routes. He said passengers had been looted many times on the dust roads.

“The road which was closed against people seven months ago is still closed. Travelling on the dust routes is not an easy task, we have many times visited the officials to reopen the road, but in vain.”

Ali Ahmad, who lives near the governor’s house in Samadkhel village, said he had to travel many extra miles reaching home because the shortest road had been closed.

Ahmad said the governor’s house had closed the general road at two locations, with no end to the blockade insight.

“We are facing a great inconvience due to closure of roads in the city. You cannot take your patient to hospital and if you take an alternate route, there is danger. What should we do…”

Ahmad said if the government authorities could not protect themselves, how could they protect citizens?

A member of the provincial council, Taj Mohammad Mangal, said the closure of roads by government authorities had invented a lot of problems for local residents.

He said the move had widened the gap between the people and the government and remained a key factor behind traffic accidents.

Mangal said street barricades were not a  solution to insecurity and hoped the barriers would be removed once serious security threats were overcome.

“The roads in front of the governor’s house, the police compound and others inside the city are general routes used by a large number of people. Their blockade has created numerous problems for people.”

But Paktia governor’s spokesman Abdullah Hasrat said the mentioned government departments had closed the roads due to security concerns and had provided alternate routes to people.

He said the roads closure was not only in the interest of the departments concerned but also common people who suffered the most in the previous terrorist attacks.

Hasrat said the road in front of the police headquarters had been closed in order to be repaired after it was damaged in the last terrorist attack.

“The roads are not completely closed, we urge people to cooperate with the government in this regard in order to prevent untoward incidents,” he said.

The gubernatorial spokesman said construction work on alternate roads was underway and the projects would be put into service upon completion.

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