Angry Badakhshan residents, in northeastern Afghanistan, stopped the swearing in of a new provincial deputy governor, Akhtar Mohammad Khairzada, in the province on Tuesday.
The residents claim they are concerned that the majority of government officials in Badakhshan are from other provinces.
Residents asked the central government to appoint someone from Badakhshan to serve as deputy governor.
“If government wants to appoint someone for us, then he must be from among us,” said Saadullah Abwaman, head of Badakhshan Provincial Council.
“Why should we tolerate those who do not have a good background in other parts (of the country)?” asked one resident, Waihudullah Shaiwon.
According to the residents, currently several key government posts including that of governor, deputy governor, police chief, commander of the army regiment, head of Badakhshan National Directorate of Security (NDS), security commander of Badakhshan police headquarters, head of the treasury, head of the provincial court, head of public works department, head of justice department, head of counter-narcotics department, head of human resources department and other key posts are being run by officials from other provinces.
Neither the offices of Badakhshan’s governor nor his newly appointed deputy have commented on the issue.
The Governors Saga
The National Unity Government (NUG) under President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah has been grappling with problems over the appointment and dismissals of some governors and their deputies over the past three months.
In December, Ghani approved the resignation of Balkh governor Atta Mohammad, but the move sparked a strong backlash after Noor refused to step down from the post.
Earlier this month, Abdul Karim Khudam refused to step down as Samangan governor after government announced the removal of at least five governors – from Laghman, Logar, Maidan Wardak, Samangan and Kunduz provinces.
Last week, Jamiat-e-Islami Party of Afghanistan, where Noor serves as chief executive, issued a press statement condemning government’s decision to replace the Samangan governor.