KABUL: A general strike of tens of government employees and journalists marred President Ghani’s official visit to southeastern Paktika province. A Provincial Councilman plastered his mouth to protest President Ghani’s visit to the province.
The president faced backlash after Afsar Khan Suleimankhel, a member of the Paktika Provincial Council, appeared in a video on social media claiming that people and journalists were not allowed to attend a meeting that was supposed to be with the residents.
The councilman said the president only met with some government employees and refrained from allowing journalists and people in the meeting room. Accusing provincial officials of corruption, Suleimankhel said residents expected to meet the president face to face to apprise him of their problems.
Some local journalists said they were not allowed to participate in the president meeting with the Paktika officials. Tens of people also gathered in Najibullah square in Sharan city of Paktika and closed the square to protest against the president.
The Presidential Palace announced on Saturday morning that the President, accompanied by a high-level government delegation, had visited the province to meet with the people of Paktika and assess the general situation.
President spokesman Sediq Sediqqi in his tweeter said that presidential press office is aware of the issues that newsmen were not invited to the president program in Paktika, so we will follow it seriously with the Paktika Provincial Office in order to prevent repetitions of such problem.