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Jawzjan Protestors Threaten To Close Key Highway

Amid growing protests in the north and north-eastern provinces, which started almost two weeks ago, protestors who are primarily Junbish-i-Milli Islami Afghanistan supporters have threatened to close the highway that leads from Kabul to the northern provinces if their demands are not met.
Jawzjan Protestors Threaten To Close Key Highway
The demonstrations broke out following the arrest two weeks ago of Nizamuddin Qaisari, the police chief of Qaisar district in Faryab. The protestors are also supporters of Junbish, which is led by exiled First Vice President Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum.
The supporters have however welcomed news of ongoing talks between the Presidential Palace (ARG) and Dostum, aimed at paving the way for him to return home.
However, the protestors warned they would establish their own “government” if talks between the two sides failed to yield any results.
Last week, protestors removed President Ashraf Ghani’s portrait from the governor’s office. This has since however been put back although government offices in the province remain closed.
“We have always said it and say it again that you can only prevent issues like this when you (central government) give the people their rights. We have no other option except to close down the Kabul-North highway after the president failed to bother to address the demands of millions of people over the past twelve days,” said Qudratullah Watan, head of Junbish Youth Council.
“We want peace, we want schools. You know that currently Daesh is in Darzab district and they are beheading people; the government should try to destroy Daesh instead of arresting Qaisari,” said one protestor, Noor Mohammad.
The protestors accuse ARG of having a double standards policy and said government, instead of arresting Qaisari, should launch a crackdown on insurgents.
Qaisari was arrested about 12 days ago over claims that he had insulted security officials. Reports meanwhile indicate that about 20 of Qaisari’s bodyguards were also arrested. However, seven are believed to have been released.
The seven were close aides to the police chief while Qaisari is a close aide to Dostum.
Qaisari's spokesman, Karim Rasa, who was also arrested but since released, said it is not clear why they were detained by security forces and that government needs to answer questions in this regard.
Footage posted on social media shows Qaisari’s men being mistreated and assaulted by government forces at the time of their arrest in Faryab on July 2. 
Source : Afghan Voice Agency(AVA)
Sunday 15 July 2018 18:26
Story Code: 167179 Copy text available
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