Govt Accused of Withholding Information

A Media advocacy group on Tuesday accused the government of concealing the truth and not disseminating information to the people of Afghanistan.

The failure to provide information by officials has caused the nation to lose trust in the government and as a result citizens are relying on unconfirmed reports and propaganda on social media platforms, said officials from Nai – a media supporting organization.

They warned that if government continues to hold back information, it will be declared a violation of the Constitution.

“Based on the law, the government must give information to people, otherwise the law is violated,” Nai executive chief Mujeeb Khelwatgar said. “When people are aware of information, it means democracy, but if not so, then a gape is created between people and government.”

A number of MPs, meanwhile, concurred and said people are being kept in the dark about the situation in the country. They agreed that most people are relying on information coming through social media – a lot of which they say is untrue.

“Tens of Facebook pages have been created that fuel ethnic issues,” a senator said on Tuesday.

In addition, some Kunduz journalists said on Tuesday government had prior knowledge of the planned attack on Kunduz but nothing was shared with the people.

They blame the Kunduz situation on government’s negligence.

“The government is trying to be conservative. If the government had informed the people of Kunduz about the situation, the people would not suffer this much,” a Journalist Ahmad Hewad Rahyab said.

The president’s office however insisted that efforts are underway to improve the dissemination of information.

“We are working along with our colleagues, Sediqqi and Waziri, [MoI and MoD spokesmen] to provide people with on-time information,” president’s deputy spokesman Sayed Zafar Hashemi said.

Nai’s claims come after contradictory reports emerged this week over the retaking of Kunduz by government troops. In addition, contradictory reports were given on Monday night and Tuesday over the Kabul attack in Darulaman Road.

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