PAN, February 19, 2012

Sar-i-Pul residents warn governor against return

...the protests were a result of the governor’s arrogance and sexual abuse of a woman by his guards

By Yaqub Ali Madani

Residents of northern Sar-i-Pul province on Sunday warned of staging a series of protests if the governor, currently in Kabul, returned to his office.

Several protests had been held against Governor Syed Anwar Rahmati over the past two months, leading the central government to send in delegations to look into the demonstrators’ demands.

A parliamentary team, in its report presented to President Karzai, has said the president had promised appointing a new governor. But reports by two other teams that visited the province remain secret.

In an interview with some media outlets, Rahmati blamed Haji Mohammad Mohaqqiq, a Member of Parliament, and Abdul Rashid Dostum, the Junbish-i-Millie chief, for encouraging the protests.

But tribal elder Taj Mohammad Kohi dismissed the governor’s claim as baseless, saying the protests were a result of the governor’s arrogance and sexual abuse of a woman by his guards.

“People will once again take to the streets if the governor returns to the province,” he warned.

Provincial council deputy chief, Asadullah Khurami, told Pajhwok Afghan News residents would close markets if Rahmati returned to the province as governor.

He said the council had submitted to the central government many documents, showing the governor’s involvement in creating problems for the people.

“The province is home to different tribes, who are united in their efforts to force the governor to step down,” Khurrami concluded.

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