Protests to Continue Over Faryab Governor Appointment

The National Islamic Movement of Afghanistan, or Junbish-e-Islami, led by former vice president Marshal Abdul Rashid Dostum, has threatened to continue their protests over the new governor’s appointment in Faryab until the Afghan government listens to their demands.

The protestors held a large rally in Faryab and prevented a helicopter carrying Mohammad Daud Laghmani, the new governor for Faryab, from landing in the city of Maimana where he was expected to assume office on Saturday.

“The protests will continue until the demands of the people are met,” Junbish spokesman Ehsan Nairo said.

“The government must address people’s concerns that are raised through protests over decisions that are based on law,” said Wahid Farzaee, a lawyer.

Some politicians said that the government should not influence the situation by such provocative moves, as the country is already in a critical political condition.

Faryab has turned into an insecure province over the last 23 days, and is now faced with a new problem: opposition against the government’s decision to appoint a new governor for the northern province.

“The government should make efforts to prevent rifts and ethnic and language-based provocations,” said Sayed Hassan Sharifi Balkhabi, an MP from Sar-e-Pul.

Faryab residents also said that they will continue their protest until their demand is accepted by the government.

“The appointment of the governor by the Presidential Palace will lead to collapse of Faryab province,” said Ahmad Munir, a Faryab resident.

“Right now, the city of Maimana is under Taliban siege. In such a situation, how can a person who has no experience, who does not know the region and who does not have relations with the people be a governor here?” asked a Faryab resident.

Some senators meanwhile said that the internal rift between the country’s politicians will not benefit the country and the ongoing peace efforts.

“Afghanistan has many pains. There is a need for unity,” Senate Speaker Fazl Hadi Muslimyar said.

“The appointment and removal are principled. We are aware of protests by some people. Efforts are underway to address the problem,” said Mohammad Amiri, a presidential spokesman.

Following the rift, President Ghani appointed former Faryab governor Naqibullah Fayiq as a senator and bestowed him the Mir Bacha Khan Medal of Honor from the government to lessen the differences, but residents of the province said that they want a governor who is their own pick.