After six days of closure, Uruzgan-Kandahar highway reopens

Monitoring Desk

TERINKOT: After six days of closure, protesters have reopened the Uruzgan-Kandahar highway for traffic, officials said on Thursday.

On Friday, hundreds of residents closed the highway in protest against what they called growing insecurity and other problems.

They alleged insecurity on the highway had increased, with officials at checkpoints extorting money from people. The security forces were also accused of forcing people to work for them.

However, the demonstrators reopened the Uruzgan-Kandahar highway late on Wednesday when passenger vehicles were allowed to ply the road.

Hamdullah, one of the protestors, told Pajhwok Afghan News officials had assured them of resolving the problems and that was why they had reopened the highway. “They (officials) told us new security posts would be set up on the highway to improve the route’s security and they will remove the extortionist policemen,” he said.

Mirza Agha, another demonstrator, warned they would resume protests and close the highway if the officials did not keep their promises.

Abdullah, a driver, confirmed the protestors had reopened the route. “We are happy the road reopened because many people were at trouble with it.”

Uruzgan’s deputy police chief, Col. Abdul Qawi Omari, confirmed they had promised the protestors their problems would be resolved.

“We will create security posts on the highway on which the Taliban threaten passengers. We will also punish the policemen seeking money from people or forcing them into free work.

Besides other problems, the highway closure caused food and other items’ rates to soar in Uruzgan.