|200 Local Leaders Attend Tribal Affairs Meeting in Paktika Province|
U.S. Army 1st Lt. Terrance Avery, from Bolidar, Mo., 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment plans officer, said roughly 200 Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan officials, district leaders, and village elders representing Paktika Province attended.
In his opening remarks, Samim summarized the Kabul peace jirga by saying that Afghan President Hamid Karzai aims to unify the tribes against the insurgent forces in an effort to lead them to a peace talk. The people of Afghanistan must work together against their common enemy, Samim added.
Samim also reminded the people of the future possibilities for progress, saying that “the present is a golden chance, don’t lose it.”
Others in attendance spoke about security challenges, as well as the obstacles insurgents place in the way of progress in Paktika, such as denying children access to formal education.
“The Koran says to educate boys and girls, yet the Taliban burn schools,” said Paktika Province Education Director Ehsan Ullah. “They don’t know the Koran or Mohammed.”
Ullah further emphasized the insurgent force’s refusal to allow Afghans to receive an education goes against Islamic traditions.
He added that it is important to educate the children. “Those who do not want education, namely the insurgents, are the infidels,” said Ullah.
The overall theme of the meeting was that all Afghans must work together for the greater good of Paktika Province and Afghanistan.