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4 months on, Ghazni-Paktika highway remains shut

4 months on, Ghazni-Paktika highway remains shut

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Sep 24, 2018 - 19:30

GHAZNI CITY (Pajhwok): The Ghazni-Paktika highway has been closed for traffic by Talibaninfo-icon militants over the past four months, creating great inconvenience for commuters.

About four months back, Taliban militants launched coordinated attacks in parts of Andar district of Ghazni province and then blocked the highway for traffic.

Abdullah, a resident of Arzo area of Ghazni city, told Pajhwok Afghan News that Taliban had kept the Ghazni-Paktika highway shut from several months.

“This area is situated on Ghazni-Paktika highway, half of this area belongs to Deh Yak district and another half to Ghazni city, Taliban most of the time build their own posts on the highway and search people,” he said.

Afghan forces launched several operations for reopening the highway, but failed, Abdullah said.

Noor Mohammad, a shopkeeper in Ghazni city, said most of Paktika residents and shopkeepers used to do shopping in Ghazni city.

“The closure of the highway has affected our businesses, most of our goods are purchased by Paktika people, but now the businesses are down,” he said.

Mohammad Gul, a driver on the Ghazni-Paktika highway, told Pajhwok that the Taliban had closed the highway in Arzo, Seenai and Sultan Bagh areas of the province.

“The main highway is shut, but subways (unpaved ways) passing through villages are open, but they damage vehicles and the fare on these dust roads is also high, therefore only a limited number of people travel on these routes,” he said.

A number of other residents of the province made similar claims.

Ghazni governor Wahidullah Kalimzai confirmed the Ghazni-Paktika highway was shut recently.

“We have developed a plan for reopening this highway, but the plan could not be implemented due the Ghazni city attack,” he said.

However, he said he had talked with Paktika officials on the issue and operations for reopening the highway would be launched soon.

The Taliban also confirmed closing the highway. The group’s spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said Afghan forces tried to open it but failed.

He said people could travel on unpaved subways but government forces could not travel on any route.

mds/ma

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