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Cash-strapped HPC unlikely to pay salaries next month

Cash-strapped HPC unlikely to pay salaries next month

Apr 01, 2017 - 21:09

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The High Peace Councilinfo-icon (HPC)’s budget has run out and its staff members are unlikely to be paid salaries next month, an official said on Saturday.

“If the council’s head and strategy are not approved in the next weeks, activities of the council will face problems,” said Mohammad Ismail Qasimyar, the council’s international relations head.

He told Pajhwok Afghan News the HPC had no budget to conduct activities and pay its employees’ salaries for next month.

He said aid-giving countries had been informed about the budget shortage which he called a temporary issue, saying the council continued its activities like the past.

Qasimyar believed the international community would resume funding the PHC if its strategy was finalized and a new head of the body was appointed.

HPC’s strategy has been under consideration with the National Security Council (NSC) and might be finalized in the next two weeks, after which the council would return to its normal status, he said.

“If finalization of the council’s strategy isn’t finished soon and its head is not appointed, the HPC’s activities will be interrupted.”

Following the death of former HPC head Pir Sayed Ahmad Gilani in January, the peace body has been without a head.

The BBC recently quoted a HPC source as saying last month the cash-strapped HPC was unable pay for expenditures and employees’ salaries. But the United Nations, at the request of the UK, provided money to the HPC for expenses and salaries last month.

Shah Hussain Murtazawi, acting spokesman for the President, said the HPC should share the issue of lack of budget with the Ministry of Finance and President Ghani in order to get the problem resolved.

A Pajhwok report in September 2015 claimed millions of dollars had been spent on the peace process by the government, but the public remained dissatisfied with the situation.

Reaching the peace accord with the Hezb-i-Islamiinfo-icon Afghanistaninfo-icon (HIA) was HPC’s great achievement, but the agreement could not be fully implemented in the past six months.


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