KABUL - A number of residents of central Logar province rallied in Kabul against the governor on Tuesday, accusing the provincial chief executive of corruption. However, Governor Attiqullah Lodin said the protesters had "personal and regional" problems with him and were involved in grabbing state land. More than 100 protesters, who marched from the Eidgah Mosque to the Presidential Palace, warned they would block Kabul-Gardez highway in case their demand for the governor's removal was ignored.
Shah Mahmood Popal, a former presidential candidate who also participated in the protest, alleged that administrative corruption had destabilized Logar. "The governor is the root cause of graft and must be ousted." Mustafa Stanikzai, another protester, claimed: "The governor is hampering the execution of reconstruction projects approved for the province. Instead of building Logar's infrastructure, he is busy stealing historical artifacts found from Ainak Copper Mine."
Stanikzai said the people who were allotted land plots had paid deposited installments in banks but the governor wanted to "gift" them to blue-eyed boys. The protesters issued a resolution, which asked the government to stop the ongoing "illegal" distribution of plots in the Ashab Baba area. However, the governor said the protesters had grabbed land in the town three years ago and he investigated the case and referred it to the prosecutor's office. "I will claim damages in case the protesters fail to prove their allegation."
Meanwhile, the provincial council head, Abdul Wali, described the protest in Kabul a result of personal differences, saying: "Some individuals cannot represent the whole province.