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    Courthouse brings rule of law to Paktika

    Courthouse brings rule of law to Paktika

    Photo By Sgt. Robert Holland | Mohabillah Samim (far right), Paktika’s provincial governor, Ryan Crocker (center),...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    Combined Joint Task Force 1 - Afghanistan

    PAKTIKA PROVINCE, Afghanistan—For citizens, here, a ribbon cutting ceremony signified a milestone in the modern history of the most impoverished region in Afghanistan.

    The official opening of the first provincial courthouse, Nov. 28, marked an end to a decade of lawlessness.

    For a province of approximately 600,000 Afghans, the filled courtyard was a sign of vested interest in how this new building will shape the future of the province.

    “Mother Afghanistan is calling. Islam is calling. Justice is calling. Today, we, the descendants of Genghis Khan, have answered this call,” said Abdul Hakim, the provincial chief appellate judge. “Today, on this snake bitten landmass, on this cursed piece of dirt, we defy our history and define our future.”

    In attendance was U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, Ryan Crocker.

    “Ten years ago the Taliban reduced this country to ruin,” Crocker said. “It is heartening to see progress like this in 2011.”

    Hans G. Klemm, coordinating director of Rule of Law and Law Enforcement in Afghanistan, also made the trip from Kabul celebrate this momentous event.

    “This courthouse will be used to bring those who would bring violence to Paktika to justice,” Klemm said. “It must be filled with judges, lawyers, and those seeking resolution.”

    The central government, in Kabul, responded to the progress made in Paktika by assigning 8 new judges to the province in order to fill the courthouse.

    “Terrorist, beware! We no longer sleep in fear. Our eyes are open, we do not dread your gun,” said Hakim. “Tonight we own Paktika and you shall fear my pen of justice.”

    The enthusiasm shown by Hakim and the audience present at the ceremony did not go unnoticed by Klemm.

    “Be confident of the commitment of the United States to Paktika,” Klemm said. “In particular to rule of law.”

    Paktika’s governor, Mohibullah Samim, who has worked side-by-side with the State Department and Task Force Blackhawk to improve the infrastructure, governance, and security within the province, said that the situation currently faced by the people of Paktika is improving and that he sees a bright future.

    “Paktika is to Afghanistan what the mosque is to the diligent farmer: a lighthouse, a beacon, a symbol of the twin seedlings of hope and faith, a call to the community that we as Muslims place our gaze skyward, always looking up,” he said. “Paktika—Keep looking up!”



    Date Taken: 11.28.2011
    Date Posted: 11.29.2011 12:10
    Story ID: 80670

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