Pajhwok Afghan News, May 24, 2007

Residents stage protest demo against governor

The protestors alleged the governor was involved in corruption and misuse of authority

Zubair Babakarkhail

KABUL: Hundreds of Badghis people staged a protest demonstration demanding removal of the provincial Governor Muhammad Nasim Tokhi.

The protestors alleged the governor was involved in corruption and misuse of authority. They say the pace of reconstruction has also slowed down since his appointment as governor of the province.

Tokhi was accused of corruption by the Attorney General's office about a month back and case against him was referred to the central government; however, no action has so far been initiated against him, said the protestors.

Fazal Akbar, resident of the provincial capital of Qala-i-Naw, told Pajhwok Afghan News the governor had promoted corruption and nepotism since his taking charge of office in the province.

Izzatullah Wasifi, the government of Afghanistan's anti-corruption chief had a criminal records in the US and was arrested at Caesars Palace on July 15, 1987, for selling 650 grams (23 ounces) of heroin. Prosecutors said the drugs were worth $2 million on the street. Wasifi served three years and eight months in prison.
The Associated Press, Mar.8, 2007

"We are supporting the government and we want them to accept our just and valid demands," said Akbar, who warned of violent protests if the governor was not removed.

Akbar, who was one of the participants of the protest demo in Bala Murghab district, said a similar demonstration was held in Qala-i-Naw a day earlier.

Member of the provincial council Qari Daulat Khan said some 600 people participated in the anti-governor protest demonstration on Thursday.

Speaking to this news agency, member of Wolesi Jirga from Badghis Azita Rifaat supported the protestors. "Unfortunately, the governor is involved in misuse of authority," said the female MP.

A delegation of the Attorney General's office, during its visit to the province about a month back, had said they had found clue to involvement of the governor in embezzlement.

A member of the AG office accompanying the team to that province, said they had got solid proofs of the governor's involvement in corruption.

The official, who did not want to be named, told Pajhwok proofs regarding embezzlement of three million afghanis had already been sent to President Hamid Karzai for further action.

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