Afghanistan: Seeking jobs, Kabul youth warn of swelling rebel ranks

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KABUL (Pajhwok): A number of Kabul youth on Monday protested against joblessness and asked the government for employment opportunities to prevent them from joining rebel groups.

The rally started at around 10am on the Darul Aman Road before the protestors gathered in front of the parliament. They were trying to set up tents in front of the parliament, but police expelled them from the area.

Having chained their hands, the demonstrators asked the authorities to put them behind bars or let them erect tents in front of the parliament to draw the attention of relevant officials to the issue of joblessness.

The demonstrators were chanting slogans ‘We want jobs, joblessness creates insecurity, unemployment is a melody; it’s forcing us to go abroad, 13 million Afghans are jobless.”

One of the protestors, Ahmad Jawad Taib, told Pajhwok Afghan News he had received the bachelor of social science degree from the Kabul University four years ago, but he had not got any job yet.

He said only his father was working as a government officer for a small salary to feed his seven members family. “If I had got a job, we would have no financial problems.”

Most of the protestors were educated youth, including Shakib Ahmad, who said: “I have been jobless for one and a half year, but the government has not helped us. It’s government responsibility to generate jobs for the people.”

He claimed some of youths had joined Taliban and Islamic State (IS) rebels due to joblessness while others travelled long distances to abroad for work, putting their lives at risk.

The demonstrators issued a resolution, warning of continued protests until their call were heard and action taken to resolve their problems.

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