29 Apr. 2008

PR# 2008-163

Governance returns to Gulestan

KABUL, Afghanistan – Governance returned to Gulestan as district manager Haji Qasim returned home, following his departure from the remote district last autumn.

Mr. Qasim fled from Gulestan last fall when 400 Taliban overran the district centre, executing six civilians and one police officer, including his relatives.

Security in Gulestan has improved to the point that the district manager was able to return to govern his people.

Villagers were happy to see their friend return in an ISAF helicopter, accompanied by Farah provincial governor Mawlawi Mohideen Baluch, Provincial Council member and Gulestan native Abdul Qadir Daqiq, Farah Chief of Police Khalilullah Rahman and Commander Shoshana Chatfield, Commander of PRT Farah.

Azizullah, the temporary Chief of Police in Gulestan, welcomed back the district manager, along with Governor Baluch, who was making his first visit to the remote district. The Governor held a Shura, attended by 40 elders and government officials.

"To improve security in this district, you must join together in solidarity. Do not allow the enemies of Afghanistan to stay in your homes or in your villages. You must stand up to them. Security forces cannot protect you without your assistance," said Governor Baluch.

In his speech to the Shura members, the governor displayed his confidence in the security situation in Gulestan.

"Security is better now than in the past because the district has a new police chief and an experienced and respected district manager," he said.

A civil affairs team from the Farah Provincial reconstruction team visited Gulestan during the same timeframe, on a separate civil affairs mission. They checked on the building sites of the future District Communication Network and district centre, and assessed local schools and health clinics. Pens, pencils, personal hygiene kits, soccer balls and Frisbees were given to the school master. ISAF medical staff also set up a temporary medical clinic in Detut village, where approximately 75 villagers received medical care.

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/