News: GIRoA reaches out to citizens in Zormat district
PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – The Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, with support from the Paktya Provincial Reconstruction Team, enhanced communication between provincial and village leaders in Zormat district during a government outreach mission Sept. 26.
GIRoA government leaders partnered with members from Paktya PRT and Task Force Creek to provide a united military, civil and security presence in Zormat during a shura. Zormat district leaders host a bi-monthly shura, or meeting, to provide village elders a venue to discuss current local events, concerns and potential improvements for the district.
The provincial leadership participated in the meeting to identify avenues for the government to provide assistance and solutions for increased sustainability.
“Everyone in Paktya province has problems,” Abdul Mangal, Paktya Deputy Governor said to shura attendees. “As leaders, we cannot solve [problems] by sitting in our chairs—we have to talk to villagers and hear their concerns.”
“We are here to listen to you and find solutions for your problems,” he added.
Afghanistan has 34 provinces, each divided into small districts. Paktya province has 13 districts, with government representatives in each district who are dedicated to improving the lives of Afghan citizens. Provincial line directorates, subordinate to the Ministries in Kabul, have basic service delivery responsibility in key sectors such as health, public works and information and culture.
The provincial government, in partnership with Paktya PRT, travels to various districts in Paktya to address local needs and provide education about the national government.
“The government cannot succeed without the support of its people,” Mangal said. “This is our country. Let’s stand together with one hand in unity for future generations.”
Security remains a top concern for Paktya provincial leadership.
During the shura, Zormat villagers spoke about increasing security in the province by continuing to develop and enhance relationships with the Afghan National Security Forces through joint training, plans and missions.
“Afghan and coalition forces work together well,” Rahamd Noori, a village elder from Zormat, said in reference to joint security missions. “We should continue the mutual respect between the ANSF and coalition forces.”
The Afghan National Army, Afghan Uniform Police, Afghan National Civil Order Police and Afghan National Police work together to provide security for Zormat district.
A joint district operations center in Zormat is scheduled to open soon, and will be the first of its kind in Afghanistan. The center will provide a common operational picture across the ANSF, enabling agencies to respond to security and emergency situations more effectively.
The operations center will provide a central location for all Afghan security members in Zormat to maintain situational awareness, allowing the ANSF to coordinate and respond to emergencies, Maj. Mohammad Ahmin, Afghan ANA Kandak (battalion) executive officer, said.
“We have scheduled day and night shifts to perform operations over a 24-hour period,” he added.
Along with security comes economic development, U.S. Army Lt. Col. James Forand, Paktya PRT commander from Auburn, Mass., said. Paktya PRT is dedicated to partnering with government of the Afghanistan to continue construction projects in areas such as Zormat.
“Our team facilitates the reconstruction efforts of GIRoA in Paktya province,” he added. “We have a strong, honest partnership with the local leaders of the government of Afghanistan and support the leadership as they work to develop a more stable and secure province.”
Paktya PRT is comprised of more than 75 military members representing active duty Air Force, Army, Army Reserves and Army National Guard. The team has representatives from the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Agency for International Development.