HERAT CITY (SW) – Hundreds of laborers on Saturday took to the streets in Herat against relocation of the directorate of customs from the city to Islam Qala.
They said this move would deprive many of daily jobs, and the government should pay attention towards their plight before moving ahead with such moves. They warned to continue with protest if their demands are not met.
Two such protesters, Mulla Ahmad and Syed Haris, said thousands of laborers and local traders in Herat would face negative consequences of this move. They feared this might flare-up insurgency and insecurity in the province.
Kamran Alizay, chairman of the provincial council has supported the protest drive. He said around five thousand laborers are busy working here, and if the customs is moved to Islam Qala it would leave all of them jobless.
Meanwhile, deputy governor, Mujibur Rehman, has said the move is aimed at controlling the waste of revenue and regulate import of suspicious items into the city. He said the protesting laborers can move and work in Islam Qala. He said the local population wants the customs directorate to be moved out of the city.
Islam Qala is located at a distance of some 120 km from the Herat city. The laborers say they cannot afford the daily transportation cost if the customs directorate is moved there.