MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): Residents of northern Balkh province on Sunday demanded early formation of an all-inclusive government to improve the social and economic situation in the country.
The Taliban have been in control of Mazar-i-Sharif, the provincial capital, over the past one week. Some government departments have resumed functioning and others are being reactivated in the province.
The residents of the city and districts say they are satisfied with the security situation but they demand an early formation of a new all inclusive government in the country for improvement of the country’s economic situation.
Haji Shah Mohammad, a resident of Mazar-i-Sharif, told Pajhwok Afghan News that security in the city had been ensured since a week.
The owner of a pharmacy said he would close his shop in the evening for fear of robbers, but the pharmacy was now open to customers until late at night. He said people were satisfied with the security situation but economic problems remained.
Haji Shah Mohammad said: “There are no security problems, but economic woes. The prices of food and other necessities have increased in the markets and many people have lost their jobs.”
He said the people were expecting the formation of a new government soon in order they could return to their jobs.
Ordinary business people in Mazar-e-Sharif are also complaining about lowered profits but they hope that given the security situation, the overall situation will improve.
Shoe-shiner Nowruz in front of the Hazrat Ali Roza said his income had halved since last year. But he hoped officials would control the ongoing economic crisis.
He said he was the only bread-winner for his 10-member family. He worked from dawn to dusk and was able to earn up to 100 afghanis. He said the Afghans should learn from past experiences and should join to develop their country.
The Mazar-e-Sharif resident said the more than four decades of war had taken everything from Afghans and now they needed to bring peace and stability to the country.
Omid , a taxi driver in the city, told Pajhwok Afghan News that fuel and gas prices had increased and had rendered his work not profitable.
According to Omid, food items such as flour, rice and others have become so expensive in the market that not everyone can afford them.
He said Taliban officials should try to reach agreement with neighboring countries and reopen ports for trade.
At the same time, a number of civil society activists in Balkh are hoping that the Taliban and other politicians will form an inclusive and accountable government.
Civil society activist Ezatullah Ishaqzai told Pajhwok Afghan News that a coalition government was needed as soon as possible to ensure security in Afghanistan. He says the Taliban are expected to form a government in which every Afghan can see himself.
According to him, the main problem of the previous government was that only a few people were squandering the country’s income and plundering the country’s wealth.
He added that now is the time for Afghans to forget their past differences and establish a strong central system and inclusive government.
The Taliban have already said they are in talks to establish an inclusive Islamic government in the country.
At the same time, a number of Western media outlets have quoted the Taliban as saying that a new government and system framework would be announced in Afghanistan in the next few weeks.