On December 6 Commander PRT-10 Col. Gediminas Macijauskas took part in the provincial Islamic religious leaders' conference that was held in the capital Chaghcharan. The event organised by the PRT and National Security and Religious Affairs Departments of Ghowr pulled together heads of the organising units and more than 100 spiritual leaders from various regions of the province.
In the conference Islamic spiritual leaders shared views on security situation in Afghanistan, and participation of local community in strengthening security, reconstructing the province, and fighting corruption. Organisers and participants expressed a hope that similar gatherings will not only provide an opportunity to address problems abut also to find their solutions.
Spiritual leaders are especially influential in the communities of Muslim countries therefore the conference was an exclusively important event. Participants of the conference emphasized that not all the people of Afghanistan are aware that the Koran forbids violence, terrorism, corruption, drug abuse and dealing, and mullahs should spread that information as it would be the most effective way to convey the message to people. Most of the priests also expressed a wish of bigger Government's attention to the religious sector.
Commander PRT-10 Col. G.Macijauskas in his speech in the conference highlighted the importance of mullahs in Afghan culture: „There is no doubt that you, religious leaders, are very important figures in the society. Your support to the central Government as well as to people by words and by an example to follow will help to reconstruct the country sooner as well as to strengthen security and stability in the province". Col. G. Macijauskas also emphasized that personnel of the PRT highly respect traditions and customs of Afghanistan and observe religious peculiarities of the country. According to the Commander PRT-10, that significantly contributed to warm relations with local community.
Director of Religious Affairs Department of Ghowr Alhaj Mohammad Shah Majed pointed out that Islam and democracy had many correlations therefore that form of government was acceptable for the Muslim country. He also stressed the weight of the community's input into the reconstruction of the country, growth of economy and security situation. „People must perceive the state as their own family in need of permanent care
", said A. M. S.Majed.
Lithuanian-led PRT took up responsibility for security in Ghowr in June 2005. PRT is a joint military-civilian mission operating under International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). PRT camp is based in the provincial capital Chaghcharan. The main task of the unit is to help Afghan central Government extend authority in the province, and to ensure security and environment suitable for provincial reconstruction.
Together with around 120 Lithuanian military and civilian personnel, representatives of Denmark, Croatia, Georgia, Ukraine, Japan, Romania and the US provide security in Ghowr. Croatian contingent has been part of the Lithuanian-led PRT since 2006. Currently the tenth rotation of the Lithuanian-led PRT is ensuring security in Ghowr.
PIO for PRT-10 1st Lt. Skomantas Povilionis
Pictures by S. Povilionis