PRT Closure Left 30,000 Jobless: Naeemi
GARDEZ -Khost Governor Abdul Jabbar Naeemi says the closure of the provincial reconstruction team (PRT) has left thousands of people jobless and the economic situation affected in the southeastern province. Naeemi was talking to a group of local and foreign journalists at the 203rd Thunder Military Corps headquarters in Gardez, the capital of southeastern Paktia, on Sunday. He thanked the PRT for executing much-needed reconstruction projects in education, health and road sectors and training officials in Khost. However, he was not happy with the team’s closure, saying it had rendered 30,000 people jobless.
The governor promised he would spare no effort in finding new jobs for the jobless by approaching the central government and donor agencies. He said if the ministries concerned provided the provincial government funds at the earliest, they would be able to complete ongoing schemes in their stipulated time. Naeemi called tribal disputes, land-grab incidents and lack of cooperation from some ministries key hurdles to the development process in Khost.
The governor credited his administration for retaking 12,000 acres of land from illegal occupants and resolving up to 35 cases of disputes among tribes over the past three years. He said the retaken land was used for various development and the armed youth previously engaged in tribal disputes were encouraged towards education and work. To a question, the governor said the construction of Khost-Ghulam Khan road, the Khost-Gardez highway and the airport was a matter of life and death for the people of Khost, but the schemes had long been delayed due to some problems.
Work on some projects, including customs offices, had been launched at the Ghulam Khan dry port and it was up to the ministries of commerce and foreign affairs to improve bilateral trade with Pakistan, he said. (PAN)