Data Gathered Date: 

Saturday, May 18, 2013 - 17:00

GHAZNI CITY (PAN): Residents of southern Ghazni province want the Afghan government and the international community to address their pressing problems, including insecurity, joblessness, promotion of quality education, enforcement of women’s rights and sending them abroad for higher studies.
Key demands of Ghazni dwellers included better security in the province and the elimination of unemployment, provincial council member Hamida Gulistani told Pajhwok Afghan News.
She claimed 70 percent of the provincial population did not feel secure -- a problem that has significantly contributed to unemployment among youth. Obviously, security should be the first priority, followed by employment opportunities, she argued.
If the security environment had been satisfactory, work on huge development projects could have been launched, the unemployment issue addressed and small factories set up by investors in Ghazni, she added.   
Echoing her views, another provincial council member, Hamidullah Nawroz, hoped the promotion of the agriculture sector and establishment of industrial units would help reduce unemployment, boost people’s economy and ensure security.
He insisted no attention had been paid to resolving people’s elemental problems, ensuring their safety and creating jobs for them.
“Thousands of Ghazni youth are currently doing manual jobs as a result of lawlessness and unemployment. They will need to work abroad if they are offered employment here,” Nawroz remarked.
Zahra, a dweller of Ghazni City, sought education and work opportunities for girls. She also demanded the protection of women’s rights, elimination of violence against them and deterrent punishment for the perpetrators.
In addition to violence, Zahra identified lack of education and work opportunities as females’ nagging troubles.
A disabled man, Mohammad Ashraf, lost one of his legs in a roadside bombing several years. Nobody had so far paid any heed either to his plight or unemployment, he complained.
Being a school graduate, he was turned away whenever visited a government department in search of a job, Ashraf grumbled. He demanded work opportunities for all special people, particularly in government organisations.
A student, named Mohammad Omar, viewed proper education facilities, especially foreign scholarships, as a viable remedy for the ills facing Ghazni. He alleged many individuals appointed to government departments lacked proper educational qualifications and experience.
Omar said if nepotism was eradicated from public-sector institutions appointments were made on merit, the issue of joblessness among youth would be addressed on the one hand and work opportunities created for qualified individuals on the other.
Religious scholar and peace council member Maulvi Hakimullah agreed security, reconstruction and unemployment were people’s main concerns that should be removed. He called for fighters to renounce the insurgency, make peace with the government and stop impeding the reconstruction and education process.
The rebels had created a whole host of difficulty hardships for the people by forcing their way into civilian houses, fighting in villages and disregarding respect for the lives of children and women, alleged Hakimullah, who asked the armed opposition to eschew harassing the masses.
By the same token, deputy head of Ghazni Rural Literary Society Ghani Ghalib described security, development, quality education, agricultural reform and construction of some major water dams as main public demands.
Although urbanites enjoyed some basic civic amenities, people in remote areas longed for living in peace, he explained. The launch of development projects would bring jobs to them and strengthen their economy.
A landlord, Haji Mohammad Rassoul, underlined the need for putting in place and effective agriculture and irrigation system. An improved agrarian economy would resolve many public problems, he insisted.
Agriculture is the mainstay of Ghazni inhabitants’ economy, according to the landlord, who pointed to declining Karez water levels. The construction of water dams in the province had become essential to provide opportunities to people and irrigate vast deserts.
He opined people’s economy would have substantially improved and unemployment as well as insecurity reined in if such projects had been initiated four or five years ago.