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Govt urged to reopen Kabul-Kandahar highway

Abdul Zuhoor Qayomi-KABUL: Meshrano Jirga (MJ) on Tuesday urged the government to reopen the important Kabul-Kandahar highway while eliminating the insurgents who blocked the road which connects the southern provinces with the center and east of the country.

Shir Muhammad Akhundzada, a senator from Kandahar, said that there are hundreds of Afghan policemen but the highway was closed since yesterday due to lack of coordination between the law enforcement agencies.

He said the coalition forces should reopen the highway and defeat the Taliban if they really have resolute support program and is not plotting against Afghans.

Abdul Baqi Baryal, a senator, said that although the police had defended Ghazni, but the highway was still closed as the Taliban destroyed the bridges.

“Lack of coordination between the provincial council and state organizations had created problems for residents of Ghazni. The blockade will create many other challenges if the government failed to reopen the highway,” he said.

Juma Din Gianwal, a senator from Paktika, said that ghost police across the country is one of the major factors creating security-related challenges. He said that most of the transit routes would be closed if the government failed to pay heed.

“There are 2,700 registered Afghan National Police members and 2,070 Afghan Local Police members in Paktika. However, the real number is less than the registered one,” he said. The senator asked the government to take measures and reopen the highway.

The deputy chairman of the Meshrano Jirga, Muhammad Alam Ezidyar, said that provincial officials told him that security condition in Ghazni is better now.

He said the attacks launched by the Taliban were repelled as the security agencies had good coordination.

Chairman of the Meshrano Jirga, Fazal Hadi Muslimyar, asked the government to keep the Kabul-Kandahar highway open. He directed the Defense Committee of the House to discuss the issue with the concerned authorities.

Muslimyar condemned the attack on Ghazni and said that anyone who kills Afghans, are our enemies.

According to media reports the Taliban militants repeatedly closed the Kabul-Kandahar highway on Monday in the Qarabagh district in Ghazni in the hope of attacking six parts of the province.

However, the attacks was foiled by Afghan security forces who battled the insurgents for a few hours.The highway is a key transit route connects Kabul with Ghazni, Kandahar, Helmand, Herat and Farah.

The Taliban in a statement warned people to avoid travelling on the highway.

“All the inbound and outbound travellers, businessmen and countrymen are informed to avoid traveling along the mentioned route till it is reopened. The route is fully blocked off and as a result, the public have to avoid using it for their own safety,” the insurgent group warned.

However security officials say that security situation is normalizing in Ghazni as the insurgents have been defeated.

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