23 Apr 2007

PR# 2007-333

Checkpoint for Herat to Qala-I-Naw
highway opens

HERAT, Afghanistan – The Herat Qala-I-Naw Highway checkpoint opened recently near Karizak.  Attending the ceremony was Col. Pietro Luigi Monteduro, Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) Herat commander, Col. Abdul Latif, deputy commander of logistics section of Herat Security Headquarters, Mohammad Shafiq Fazli, head of Herat Security Headquarters, and local officials.

“This checkpoint helps to provide more security in Herat and Afghanistan,” Colonel Monteduro said.  “Good security means faster development.”

It’s not always safe to travel in northwest Afghanistan. Banditry, smuggling and suicide bombers can be a risk for the countless travellers passing through Herat. Officials hope the new $54,000 checkpoint means smugglers and other criminals will have fewer opportunities to prey on travellers.

“I am happy that we have this checkpoint,” said Gholam Ghous, a driver who travels Herat to Qala-I-Naw highway almost daily.

Since the checkpoint’s construction, personnel manning it have discovered illegal weapons and explosive materials destined for suicide attacks in Herat. It shows the importance of such checkpoints that can save the lives of thousands of people.

“This is the third project of this kind financed by the Italian PRT,” said Mr. Fazli.  “We are very grateful for helping us to keep the roads safe and secure.”

Herat is an important commercial center for fruits, vegetables and grain in the northwest. Due to its geographical situation, it’s also an important junction for travellers going to Iran.

Contact Information ISAF Public Affairs Office
Tel: +93 (0)799 51 1155 - Mobile: 0093 (0) 799 55 8291 pressoffice@hq.isaf.nato.int - www.nato.int/isaf/