One of these promises he made during his trip to Gardiz, the provincial capital of southeastern Paktia, following a deadly insurgent attack on the Provincial Police Headquarters was the supply of electricity to Gardiz within 40 days.
Besides other pledgees, President Ghani assured the residents of Paktia on October 21, 2017 that Gardiz city would get electricity in 40 days.
Local elders and civil activists say the president made the promise without estimating the available government resources only to please or deceive the people.
Hajji Jalal Khan, a local tribal leader, accused the president of not only deceiving Paktia residents through empty slogans during the election campaign, but also failing to fulfil his promises during his presidency. “The president came here and promised that Gardiz would get electricity within 40 days, but did not know that even no power lines are extended; there are no power distribution networks. Only half of the power pylons have been installed, and many other problems, but he just threw dust in people’s eyes.”
The division of Zurmat district into two administrative units, rehabilitation of Gardiz-Zurmat road, construction of the Muchaghlo hydropower dam, and allocation of budget to the construction of industrial parks were some of the promises President Ghani made during his visit, which were yet to be honored, Jalal Khan uttered.
Khalid Habib, a lecturer and researcher of Gardiz University, said the president might have been provided wrong information about the power supply project because the electricity could not be extended to the neighboring city, Ghazni, in 40 days.
Talking to The Heart of Asia, he said the president have either fulfilled or been fulfilling other promises to some extent; however, the deadline of his promise about the power supply to Gardiz has already passed, but the city has not yet gotten electricity.
Meanwhile, Abdul Wali Wahab, a political expert, said the president only pleased the people in Paktia by making promises because he did not think if he could really honor them.
“Even now, when the president stands on the podium, he thinks as if he it is still the time of election campaigns. He doesn’t have to set a deadline for his promises. He was not forced by the residents of Paktia to make the hard-to-achieve pledge about the power supply to Gardiz in 40 days. Now, he cannot honor it,” Wahab told The Heart of Asia.
Wahab blamed the weakness of President Ghani’s team for the non-fulfillment of promises because it could not track them on time.
However, Abdullah Hasrat, the spokesman for Paktia Governor, said the president had realized most of his promises, including the promotion of Paktia to first category province, adding that the power network has not yet been extended to Gardiz for some problems.
The president’s promise to raise Paktia to the first category of provinces is in conflict with his electoral slogan to eliminate the categorization of provinces.
Talking to The Heart of Asia, Hasrat said the Paktia governor had a meeting with the Ministry of Energy and Water (MoEW) and a number of other officials about the power supply two days back, but he revealed there were some problems with the project in Logar province.
According to him, the power distribution network already existed in Gardiz city, but it would be extended to the outskirts of the city in future.