Ghani approves 4,000 new teacher posts for Nangarhar

JALALABAD (Pajhwok): President Ashraf Ghani during his visit to eastern Nangarhar province said he was committed to resolving problems of the province, promising to visit again after a month. President Ghani arrived in Nangarhar for evaluating security situation of the province.

The president said he heard people’s problems during his first trip and would resolve them in his next visit. Ghani approved 1,200 personnel for uprising groups to improve security in Hesarak, Khogyani and Sherzad districts and 4,000 school teacher posts to fill the shortage of instructors in the province. “I have told you to let me build Mazar-i-Sharif, Heart and Kandahar on their turn, now it is Nangarhar’s turn. I will come back a month later and will tell you which promises are implementable and which are not, just give me one month,” he said.

Ghani said the education sector in Nangarhar had been ignored and he could not lead all ministries. Ghani directed the education minister who was present in the meeting to approve 4,000 teachers for the province. He added he had prepared a plan for resolving traders’ problems in Torkham port and would try to extend a railway to Jalalabad or Momand Dara district of the province.

About people’s problems, he said, “We are servants of the nation and that is the reason you can ask me and share your problems with me, can you ask these questions from Mullah Habatullah?” “The Taliban can come if the nation accepts them, the government will also welcome them”, he said. Ghani praised Nangarhar people’s sacrifices for the defense of the government and said that youths of the province had served the country in all parts of Afghanistan. About electricity problem, he said a new contract had been signed with Uzbekistan that would resolve the issue but he would also welcome any trader ready to invest in solar energy in the province.

Meanwhile, residents, tribal elders, public representatives and officials of eastern Nangarhar province asked President Ashraf Ghani to pay attention to their problems concerning electricity, education, health, security, reconstruction and agriculture areas. President Ashraf Ghani arrived in Nangarhar for evaluating security situation of the province.

Accompanied by Vice-President Amrullah Saleh, National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib, cabinet members and lawmakers, Ghani will also visit a citrus exhibition in Jalalabad, the provincial capital. Nangarhar provincial council head Ahmad Ali Hazrat, talking to the gathering attended by the president, said that people of the eastern region wanted stoppage of fencing the Durand Line.

“Security situation of Nangarhar is generally good, but the situation in Sherzad, Khogyani, Hesarak and Pachiragam districts has worsened due to presence of foreign insurgents including Orakzi, Panjabi and others”, he said. He asked the government to launch operations against the insurgents and bring security to the areas.

Hazrat also complained about the worsened security situation on the Kabul-Nangarhar highway and said that no government official could use the route for traveling due to security reasons since last two months. Amir Khan Yar, a Wolesi Jirga or lower house member from Nangarhar told the gathering that joblessness, shortage of school teachers and police forces and problems in the health sector required government’s attention.

He said a plan to provide solar-based power in Nangarhar was created a few years ago, but nothing was done in practical to implement it. An Islamic scholar, Mohammad Daud Mujahid, talking to the meeting, said that the Presidential Palace had proved its commitment to shortening the distance between mosques and government by building 150 mosques in the province, but there was still need for more work in this regard.

Former secretary of Nangarhar provincial council and tribal elder, Zabihullah Zamarai, said that the president did not implement his pledges he made during his election campaign. “We participated in elections and voted you in hard situation in order our problems are resolved, you made promises but did nothing in practical. You laid the foundation stone of a solar power project in Nangarhar three years ago, but nothing happened to this plan after that,” he said.

He said directors and district chiefs who have long occupied their positions should be removed and replaced by qualified figures. Nangarhar governor, Ziaulhaq Amarkhel, said that when he was appointed as governor, he was worried people would not support him, but the people cooperated a lot in supporting the government and security. “All the youths and the elders are supporting the government, they sacrifice their lives for the empowerment of the system, I personally visit people of districts to hear their problems instead they come to my office with complaints,” he said. He said there was a shortage of 4,000 school teachers in Nangarhar province. Amarkhel asked the president for cooperation in areas of reconstruction, commerce at Torkham port and fighting corruption.