Mullah Baradar calls for move away from int’l aid

Taliban leader Abdul Ghani Baradar included in Time's 100 most influential people

The first Deputy Prime Minister, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, said that the aid provided by international donors has a political purpose, and he called for Afghanistan to strive toward self-sufficiency.

Speaking at a ceremony at the site of a planned township outside of Kabul city known as Pirozi, Mullah Baradar said that the aid provided by foreigners does not come without an agenda.

He said the Islamic Emirate plans to launch economic projects in various sectors to provide jobs for the people.

“Today, engagement with the international community is not (possible) without politics. If they want to engage with us, they will ask something in return. But this is common in the whole world that you should give something in return. It is not possible that they would be giving us something and we will not give in return,” he said.

The acting Minister of Urban Development and Housing, Hamdullah Nomani, said that the work on the Pirozi town project began 14 years ago but the project was not completed due to corruption. “There are 131 towns in planning and this year we have 15 that we are working on,” he said.

Meanwhile, an official of the Pirozi project, Obaid Rahman, said the construction of Pirozi will provide more than 13,000 job opportunities. “In this project, almost 13,600 people will be provided with jobs directly,” he said.

“We assure you that we will obey all rules and regulations of the Islamic Emirate and will remain committed to the interests of Afghanistan. We will seriously consider the quality of our products with a fair price,” said the head of the Chinese company funding the project.

The Pirozi town is located 35km from Kabul city.

Meanwhile, the National Environmental Protection Agency announced the start of a tree-planting campaign in Kabul’s Qargha Dam, saying that in the first stage, 5,000 fruit-bearing and other seedlings will be planted.

“Fruit-bearing and non-bearing seedlings will be planted according to weather conditions, their location and their use,” said Ezatullah Siddiqi, deputy director of the National Environmental Protection Agency. According to statistics, more than 25 million saplings are to be planted in 34 provinces of the country this year.

Although the planting campaign has been going on for years, some of the planted seedlings have dried up due to negligence.—Tolonews