President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai on Monday said he had directed the authorities concerned to initiate legal action against individuals having grabbed state properties.
Ahmadzai was talking to influential figures and elders of southeastern Khost province through a video conference, the Presidential Palace said in a statement.
Also present on the occasion was Acting Khost Governor Abdul Jabbar Naeemi, who congratulated the president on behalf of Khost people on his victory in the June runoff election.
Khost residents shared with Ahmadzai problems concerning development budget for Khost, land-grab incidents, refugees from Waziristan region of Pakistan, security, good governance, economic development, education and electricity.
They urged the president to increase development budget for Khost, improve standard of education at the Sheikh Zahid University and pave the ground for early completion of the airport there.
They also called for intensifying work on the imported power project, initiating a legal action against land-gabbers and giving attention to problems being faced by Waziristani refugees.
Ahmadzai thanked the people of Khost for sharing their problems with him and promised solid measures to resolve them.
“The dispatch of development funds to provinces is one of my top priorities. Land-grabbers are not tolerable to the government, that’s why the authorities concerned have been tasked to initiate legal action against them,” Ahmadzai said.
With Ahmadzai, acting public works minister Najibullah, deputy higher education minister Osman Babri, power utility head Abdul Raziq Samadi and representatives of defence and finance ministries were present.
They briefed the president about problems facing the people of Khost and promised efforts at resolving them.
The statement said President Ahmadzai intended to be in contact with all provinces through video conferences in order to timely resolve problems of people and reduce government’s expenses.
Meanwhile, President Ahmadzai directed the authorities concerned to ensure that prisoners had no contacts with outsiders.
A separate statement from the Presidential Palace said Ahmadzai held a meeting with the delegation tasked with probing demands of striking inmates at the central jail in western Herat province.
The president said the country’s jails should not be allowed to become sources of producing criminals and terrorists.
He made it clear that those involved in attacks and killing of Afghan security personnel would not be pardoned.
At the meeting, the delegation presented its report on the prisoners’ situation in Herat.
About 160 prisoners in the Herat jail had been on hunger strike for eight days. The prisoners had been aiming to draw the central government’s attention to their living conditions.
Herat primary court judge Gul Ahmad Ramish told Pajhwok Afghan News the prisoners had three demands --- implementation of presidential decrees, inclusion of political prisoners in such decrees and the reopening of some cases that had been decided and closed.
Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) chief Maulvi Abdul Rahman Hotak said a majority of the protesting prisoners had committed dangerous crimes and were on death row.