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Cablegate: Prt Bamyan: Ambassador Assesses Development And

VZCZCXRO7094
OO RUEHDBU RUEHIK RUEHPW RUEHYG
DE RUEHBUL #2068/01 1781154
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 271154Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8841
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KABUL 002068

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

DEPARTMENT FOR SCA/FO DAS GASTRIGHT, SCA/A
STATE PASS TO USAID FOR AID/ANE, AID/DCHA/DG
NSC FOR HARRIMAN
OSD FOR SHIVERS
CENTCOM FOR CG CFC-A, CG CJTF-82 POLAD
RELEASABLE TO NATO/AUST/NZ/ISAF

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV SNAR PHUM PTER EAID AF
SUBJECT: PRT BAMYAN: AMBASSADOR ASSESSES DEVELOPMENT AND
SECURITY

REF: KABUL 1812

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: During his introductory visit to
Bamyan Province, Ambassador Wood and Governor Habiba
Sarabi discussed development priorities and security
risks in what has generally been Afghanistan's most
secure province. The Ambassador also met the
Provincial Council, a women's shura, and toured a
USAID-funded midwifery training center. The governor
and provincial council members assured the Ambassador
of their support for the international community,
but as expected, pressed for more U.S. development
assistance to Bamyan. END SUMMARY.

---------------------------------------
Governor Sarabi: Focus Remains on Roads
---------------------------------------

2. (SBU) Governor Sarabi, who has publicly accused
USAID of failing to keep prior development commitments
in Bamyan, said that after her recent meeting in
Kabul with the Ambassador (reftel), she had received a
report from USAID which detailed its assistance to
Bamyan province in FY 2007 (totaling $17 million) and
said she "fully appreciated" USAID's efforts. The
Ambassador told Governor Sarabi that the U.S. will
give more development assistance to Bamyan in the next
18 months than it provided in the previous five years
altogether. This includes pavement of both the
Airfield Road and Bazaar Road in Bamyan City, two
projects that have taken on great symbolic
significance in Bamyan, which today has no paved
roads.

3. (SBU) Governor Sarabi described the abysmal state
of the Dai Kundi roadway, which has received no
repairs in 20 years. Large sections of this road
collapsed during spring floods and have not been
restored. The poor condition of this north-south
route creates problems not only for the isolated
Panjab and Waras districts in southern Bamyan (where a
large part of the province's population resides), but
drives up the cost of shipping food and other goods to
Ghor and Dai Kundi provinces. The governor pressed
for assistance but acknowledged that she has not
discussed it with the governor of Dai Kundi or asked
the central government for assistance. (Note: The
U.S. Army CERP manager for Bamyan is seeking approval
for funds to repair pavement and bridges along
approximately 60 kilometers of this road. End note.)

--------------------------------------------- ---
Governor on Security, Police, Provincial Council
--------------------------------------------- ---

4. (SBU) When asked about reports of weapons and drugs
being moved through Bamyan province, Governor Sarabi
described these as problems from Dai Kundi and Ghazni
that spill over into Bamyan. She identified the
problem area for Bamyan as the Kahmard district in
northeastern Bamyan, which is home to the province's
minority Tajik community. ANP have a hard time
tracking activity in this district because of its
mountainous terrain. The province's principal
defense, she said, is that the people of Bamyan oppose
drugs and inform the police of drug activity.

5. (SBU) Overall, Governor Sarabi said the ANP are
doing a good job but are not well-trained. Governor
Sarabi was pleased with the training program at the
PRT's Regional Police Training Center and with the
police reform efforts by the Ministry of Interior, but
she indicated concern about the quality of Bamyan's
ANP officers in the higher ranks.

--------------------------------------------- ----
Provincial Council Questions Distribution of U.S.

KABUL 00002068 002 OF 002


Assistance
--------------------------------------------- ----

6. (SBU) The Ambassador also met with the provincial
council who assured the Ambassador of the Bamyan
people's support for the U.S., but in a common
refrain in the central provinces, complained
that Bamyan is ignored when it comes to development
assistance. Former PC chair Nawroz Etimadi bemoaned
that provinces racked with insecurity and poppy
cultivation, like Helmand, receive more
in development assistance than the $17 million
a more secure, poppy free province like Bamyan,
where the local people are more supportive of the
central government and shun poppy cultivation.
Etimadi asserted that the international community
sends the wrong message when it is perceived that
provinces plagued by violence, poppy and ineffective
leadership receive more attention and development
assistance than provinces that are quiet and whose
leadership takes an active role in keep them that way.

7. (SBU) Mohammad Muhsini, Bamyan's most influential
religious leader and the recently elected chairman of
the Provincial Council, outlined the need for three
specific projects: a new road in the center of Bamyan
province, a dormitory for Bamyan University, and
better roads connecting Bamyan to other provinces.
(Note: The day following the Ambassador's visit, the
chairman of the Bayat Foundation laid the cornerstone
for a new women's dormitory at Bamyan University; a
men's dormitory is also needed. End note.)

--------------------
Bamyan Women's Shura
--------------------

8. (SBU) The Ambassador also met with the Bamyan
women's shura, who raised concerns about distances
girls must travel to school and that access to health
care is cut off during the winter months. The
Ambassador also toured the USAID-funded Midwifery
Training Center, which is reducing infant and maternal
mortality rates in the central highlands.
WOOD

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