Data Gathered Date: 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 - 11:00

MAIMANA (PAN): People of the volatile Faryab demand the government to maintain security, accelerate reconstruction, establish industries and ensure provision of drinking water elsewhere in the province.
Provincial Secretary Sayyed Abdul Baqi Hashimi said the prime demand of the residents was security and enhanced law and order in the province.
He said parts of Qaisar, Almar and Pashtunkot districts were experiencing insecurity in the wake of heavy presence of armed groups, adding that reconstruction process Almar district was just crawling because of lawlessness.
“People have been asking me to address their legitimate problems because I am their representative but I am unable to help them resolve their issues,” he added.  
People demanded of the government to overcome the menace of unemployment and implement projects in peaceful areas. They said that measures should be adopted to convince people in the restive areas to pave way for carrying forward the development projects in their own interests.
The residents were concerned about the safety of construction projects, which were under threat to be damaged.
Noor Mohammad, an elder in Almar district said his district had turned into a battle ground due to vested interests among various groups, politicians and influential.
Almar is located 25 kilometers from Maimana, the capital of Faryab, where government had no writ, forcing many government officials to leave their jobs because of growing insecurity.
Local elders, supporters of government programs and soldiers were being killed or kidnapped from the main bazaar in front of the district headquarters but the government is too weak to take any action, he lamented.
He went on to say Taliban kidnapped and then killed an engineer of a private construction company during the current month (October). Similarly, four election employees were abducted and their head was still in Taliban detention.
The Taliban were in control of four directions of the area, which was almost one kilometer away from the office of the district governor, he said, adding the commander of the group was hailing from Faryab. Despite many operations carried out by the security forces, security could not be established.
He said insecurity was alienating residents of the restive Almar locality because they were deprived of education and development projects.
The main source of concern was that work on the important Almar Dam project worth $55 million had been halted because of chaos and deteriorated law and order.
Allah Gul, a resident of Ghurmach district said lack of security deprived people from benefiting from the international community aid, development and social programs during the past 12 years.
The government had its control only over the district centre and shops within bazaar but the Taliban had greater sway in rest of the localities and residential areas, he added.
He said if the government failed to control the volatile Ghurmach district before 2014 and start work on ring road then there were strong indications that the district would fall into the hands of militants.
The international community funds and Afghanistan government assistance were utilized only in building of district office, one school, one clinic with few small National Solidarity Program projects but no attention had been paid to improve the nascent security of the area, he complained. 
He said his area was facing lack of physicians and medicines with acute shortage of clinics with students had no school buildings who were forced to study under the open sky. As many as 30% of teachers did not maintain punctuality to attend schools regularly and there were none to check them.
People of Ghurmach had been deprived of clean drinking water, paved roads, electricity and advanced agriculture and livestock services, he added.
Mohammad Ashraf, a resident of Andkhoy district revealed most of the respected families left the district because of Taliban and influential harassment.
Militants kidnapped Engineer Shah Wali, head of mine department with two of his employees and killed his driver and then freed the head of the department.
Andkhoy covers a wide area of Faryab province, which include center of the district, Qaram Qul, Khancharbagh and Qurghan districts and shares border with Turkmenistan.
He said: Aqina Port is situated in the district through which hundreds of transit vehicles import goods from different countries. If the security of the port is ensured then Andkohy will be turned into a big business center in the region.”
“Taliban had warned people two years back not to hold wedding party in hotels or have concert in parties and that order is still effective in the district,” he added.
He expressed satisfaction with education, healthcare services, supply of electricity from Turkmenistan, construction of ring road and building of Aqina transit road but expressed pessimism by saying that the residents were facing lack of drinking and irrigation water in Andkhoy district.
Mohammad Ashraf informed the big drinking water project from Amu River had been unsuccessful, which costs more than $13 million. “People have no access to potable water and they buy an 18- liter water bottle at the rate of 10 to 20 Afghanis.
“Andkhoy and the neighboring districts have tens of thousands of hectare fertile land but irrigation water needs to be supplied from khisht-e-Pul Dam of Pashtunkot district or from Amu River,” he added.
Resident said around 70% of Andkhoy people were associated with the carpet industry but the government had not extended the direly needed support to bolster the vital sector.
He demanded the government should take stringent measures to revitalize the carpet industry and helped resolve grievances of the people.