MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): Residents, public representatives and civil activists in northern Balkh province say administrative heads of nine districts have been runing their affairs from the provincial capital as they are unable to attend their offices.
Chamtal, Chahar Bolak, Dawlatabad, Sholgar, Balkh, Kushinda, Zara, Shor Tapa and Kaldar district chiefs cannot go to their offices due to insecurity.
People representatives in the provincial council and the Wolesi Jirga say not attending offices by their heads has badly affected governance in the mentioned districts.
But the governor’s house said only three district chiefs could not attend their offices and the remaining 11 ran their affairs normally.
But sources say nearly nine district chiefs have been unable to go to their offices in the districts due to security issues such as conflict, clashes and landmines.
Gul Rahman Hamdard, a Wolesi Jirga member from Balkh, told Pajhwok Afghan News that local administration almost did not exist in nine districts of the province.
He said most of district chiefs lived in the city and could not attend their offices due to insecurity.
“Only few district chiefs visit their offices once a week with a strong security protocol; but nine district chiefs cannot go their districts and live in Mazar-i-Sharif City,” he added.
Hamdard said the government should pay serious attention to this issue and reopen the local administrations in the certain districts.
The lawmaker expressed concern that insecurity would further increase the gap between people and government in Balkh.
Mohammad Rahim, resident of Zari district, told Pajhwok that fierce clashed had been underway in their district over the past few months.
He said the district chief could not visit his office without security forces support.
Sardar Wali, resident of Arab-i-Mazari village of Chamtal district, said most of the people in their district did not know if the district has any administrative chief. He said the district chief could not attend his office in the past two years.
“People are forced to resolve their issues by approaching the Taliban because there is no other option,” he added.
AfzalHadid, chairman of the provincial council, told Pajhwok: “It is obvious that Taliban and their supporters control and issue orders in the absence of government and representatives.”
Hadid said people were getting frustrated with the government for its inability to provide them with good services.
According to him, the local government is trying to control the situation through security operations and pave the way for people to get services.
Pajhwok tried to contact the nine district chiefs for comment but they declined to talk.
Monir Farhad, the governor’s spokesman, told Pajhwok that of the total 14 district chiefs, only three could not attend their offices.
Farhad said seven districts faced serious insecurity but security operations have been launched to improve the situation there.
“Three district chiefs are unable to go to their offices, but still services are provided to people and even people can refer to neighbouring districts to get their works done,” he informed.
Farhad said the local government was trying to control the situation and improve security so people were provided with services.