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Private AM radio on air in Paktika to counter insurgency

By Akhtar M. Nikzad-KABUL: A private radio station “Talwasa” started broadcasting on AM expanded band in Sharana, the capital city of Paktika province, to counter insurgency through increased public awareness. This is the first radio station that begins broadcasting on AM band over 945 kilohertz in the southeast provinces of the country.

Addressing the inaugural ceremony here on Sunday, Director of Talwasa Radio, Fraidon Khazon, told that Paktika direly needed a radio station to highlight problems of the masses and convey their grievances to the authorities.

He said that Talwasa would try to educate people and convince them to restrain from supporting terrorists who are killing innocent people on both sides of the Durand Line.

“The terrorists have safe havens on the other side of the Durand Line and carried out terror activities in Afghanistan. We want to tell people about these militant groups who are involved in subversive activities,” he said.

The radio has been established with financial support of a local business tycoon. The project cost around $520,000. The radio will first cover Paktika, Khost and Paktia provinces and later other provinces.

He said that Talwasa Radio would broadcast Islamic, cultural, social, entertainment and economic programs for 10 hours, during day and night. “It is a non-political radio and would never air programs that would benefit political groups,” he said.

Director of the Regional Studies Center of Afghanistan, Abdul Ghafoor Liwal termed the radio station a good step to counter propaganda of the militant groups and protect national interests.

He said that Talwasa Radio would indirectly mobilize people against anti-government elements in the bordering regions. Liwal hoped that it would help in improvement of security. “Location of the radio station is very important when we speak of countering insurgency,” he said.

Management of the Talwasa Radio criticized the Ministry of Information and Cultural for creating challenges during issuance of the license.

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