Could outrage about the electricity line bring down the country's government?by Emily Winterbotham / May 20, 2016 / Leave a comment
Kabul was brought to a standstill this week as Afghan protestors called for a “city closure” on 16th May, prompting the government to block off many streets. This is the latest in a spate of protests opposing a decision to reroute an electricity transmission line covering Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan (TUTAP).
The 500 kv transmission line is being routed away from the Hazara-majority Bamiyan Province in central Afghanistan over the Salang Pass (a mountain pass connecting northern Afghanistan with Parwan Province, which lies next door to Kabul on its North Eastern border with connections to Kabul Province and southern Afghanistan). Over the past few weeks, demonstrations have been seen in Bamiyan, Mazar-e Sharif, Ghazni, Daikundi, Baghlan and Herat as well as in a number of western capitals, including Washington, Stockholm, Berlin, Tokyo and London. (For information on the demonstrations see Thomas Ruttig’s comprehensive report for AAN).
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) project is aimed at promoting trade in electricity between energy-rich Central Asian countries, and Afghanistan and Pakistan that face severe electric power defi…