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    Provincial governor makes historic visit to Khas Uruzgan

    Provincial governor makes historic visit to Khas Uruzgan

    Photo By Warrant Officer Jessi McCormick | Local Hazaran people gather around Uruzgan Provincial Governor Amir Mohammad...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Jessi McCormick 

    102d Public Affairs Detachment

    KHAS URUZGAN, Afghanistan - Uruzgan Provincial Governor Amir Mohammad Akhundzada and other local officials made an historic visit to the Hazaran people of Khas Uruzgan district to discuss improving the economy and future development projects March 16, 2013.

    The Hazaran tribe in Uruzgan province is concentrated in the northeast in a region where most villages and houses are built into the side of snow-covered mountains.

    It was the first visit by provincial officials to North Khas Uruzgan in 11 years. Locals from Siya Boghal village greeted the government officials and coalition forces with open arms, gifting them with flowers and traditional chapans and veils.

    “This visit was important because it was the first provincial visit to the area in over a decade,” said Col. Simon Stuart, Combined Team Uruzgan commander. “The Hazaran people are a minority, so it sends the message that the government is impartial when it comes to tribes, and that they’re going to be treated the same as anybody else.”

    A tribal leader provided lunch in his home in honor of the provincial governor’s visit. After the lunch, a shura was held with an estimated 2,000 residents from the village in attendance. Akhundzada addressed problems brought to his attention by the local people.

    “The government has finally received funding from the central government in Kabul that will allow us to begin construction on a 20-kilometer road that will go from the Siya Boghal village to Tarin Kot city very soon,” he said.

    Additionally, Akhundzada stated that he will find solutions for the problems the Khas Uruzgan district is facing with governance and insurgency, and will ensure security within Siya Boghal village remains stable.

    Stuart said the promises the provincial governor made are the first step in connecting the provincial government with the local districts.

    “The results of that connection mean that the people have a greater confidence that the government is going to do something for them,” Stuart said. “It gives them a choice to make, a choice between the government and the Taliban.”

    People appear to be listening, he said.

    “We are happy that the government is finally listening to our requests for new hospitals, clean drinking water, better roads, and professional teachers for their schools,” a village resident said on the local radio station, Uruzgan Pawaistoon.

    Stuart said that he hopes the tensions between the Pashtun and Hazaran people decrease, and the energy that’s put into those tensions gets directed towards the insurgency and prioritizing education.

    “They’re very progressive,” Stuart said. “They have a strong focus on education and it’s quite amazing to see what they have managed to achieve without much in the way of resources. They’re certainly very motivated and very good with what resources they do have.”



    Date Taken: 03.16.2013
    Date Posted: 03.26.2013 04:10
    Story ID: 104097

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