Data Gathered Date: 

Sunday, March 31, 2013 - 15:45

People of central Bamyan province complain about insecurity, but the lack of roads and poverty are the biggest problems and the people want the future president to solve those problems.
Bamyan has six districts and its provincial council has nine members. Bamyan is located 200 kilometers west of Kabul. The province is known for its historical position and as the place of the Buddha statues, which were demolished during the Taliban regime. Lake Bandimeer of this province is very famous and thousands of visitors come to see this scenic place. Around 300 families in this province are still living in caves because of the lack of housing.
For this report, Pajhwok interviewed nine people (three of them women) from the provincial capital and four districts of the province.
Farmer: Lack of roads is our biggest problem
Muhammad Afzal, 42, who is a farmer, lives in the Legan area of Wras district. He says lack of roads is the biggest problem of his area.
It takes two days to travel from Wras to Kabul due to poor road conditions, he said.
He knows only three of the 41 presidential candidates. He said the security situation has improved. He had left this area and his house during the Taliban regime, but returned to the area afterward.
Student: Studying because there is peace
Twenty-year-old Ali Akbar is student of the Darra-e-Faulad school of Bamyan City. He says his father could not study because of fighting, but he is studying because there is peace now.
"We are happy with peace in our province and it was because of Karzai. Now I am able to reach the 12th class," Akbar said.
But, he complained that the present government did not focus on the reconstruction of the province. For example, the Bamyan-Kabul road is still not constructed.
He says he will vote for a candidate who thinks about solutions to the problems of the people.
Mother living in a cave: We are living like cattle
Sakeena, 35, is mother of four children and living in a cave in Bamyan. She says she is not taking part in the presidential elections.
"None can become president with my vote, nor do I know any of them," she says. According to Sakeena, she is participating in the provincial council elections because she knows one of the candidates and she is going to vote for him.
She says: "Our primary problem is shelter. We are living like animals in caves and no one is caring for us."
She says she is living in a cave over the past six years. Neither the government nor any NGO has helped her so far.
Headmistress: Development is visible
Rehana, 32, headmistress at the central school in Bamyan, who is supporting an 11-member family, says the election is a good chance for people to elect their representatives and president.
She says progress is evident in different sectors in the past five years. “We were not allowed to go out of house [under the Taliban]. Now I am teaching at a school and we are able to teach students," Rehana said.
She is happy with the security situation in Bamyan. She says schools are also open, but the only problem was lack of roads.
A returnee woman: Poor should be helped
Azra, a housewife, is a returnee from Iran. She has studied up to sixth class. She is now livingin caves in the Chaspan area.
She stressed the importance of elections and says people should be given a share in this process. Azra has a six-member family. She says votes of poor and rich have equal importance, so all people should cast votes.
Azra says the next president should help the poor and provide them jobs.
A young blacksmith: President has already been elected
Muhammad Zaman, 27, is a resident of Bamyan City and heads a 10-member family. He does not believe in the upcoming elections. He said the people are fools as the president has already been selected by the United States.
"I will not vote for any of the candidates as in my view, the president is not going to be elected on the basis of our votes," said Muhammad Zaman.
He says poverty and lack of roads was the biggest problem of Bamyan. "Roads is the general problem of people. When no roads are being constructed, people should not elect Karzai or any other president," said Zaman.
Unemployed young man: National unity is most important
A 28-year-old  man from Yakawlang district, Muhammad Mubariz, who has completed intermediate education and presently is in search of job, told Pajhwok that the next president should work for national unity.
"Peace can be achieved when ethnic and tribal prejudices are removed," said Mubariz. He said the country need a national strategy, but neither the people nor the leaders are doing something on that front.
Laborer: President is of no use for us
Ahmad Ali, 50, who is a labourer and head of a seven-member family, says he wants to join the process but is not sure about its success.
Ali, who is a resident of Seghan district, said: "We are poor people and any one who becomes president is of no use for us."
Blind man: No improvement in life
Abbas Ali, 38, is a resident of Shaibar district and is blind in both eyes. He said there has been no change in his life during the present government.
Head of a nine-member family, Abbas says he is facing economic problems as in the past.
However, he added that voting is his right and he will use it.
He said he wants the next president to achieve national unity and ensure social justice.