Gov. Sayeed Wahidi, the governor of Konar province, Afghanistan (dark suit), tours a new printing press facility in downtown Asad Abad. Prior to the facility opening, all print material including Asad Abad’s weekly newspaper was printed in Jalalabad, Kabul or in Pakistan.
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (August 12, 2008) — A ceremony marked the opening of a new printing press facility in downtown Asad Abad, Afghanistan.
Prior to this facility all print material including Asad Abad’s weekly newspaper was printed in Jalalabad, Kabul or in Pakistan. The Konar PRT funded this facility to provide a locally-produced, independent print media capacity in Konar. The printing press is co-located with the Konar Radio and Television Station inside the media culture and information complex.
The printing press will help promote the exchange of information and ideas vital to democracy, said Gov. Sayeed Wahidi, Konar’s governor. Most Konar residents currently receive their news from the radio but that may soon change. Wahidi encouraged all poets, magazine writers, and authors to use the printing press to tell their stories and express their opinions.
Isamil Youn, an advisor for the Afghan Security Council, urged the media outlets to present facts and portray reality in their reporting.
“The media has long been considered the fourth force within the system of government in addition to the executive, judicial and legislative forces,” said Youn. The media plays a key role in the life of the people in the entire community.
PRT Konar’s Department of State representative Alison Blosser said that in order to get their message out the members of parliament, Wahidi and other government authorities must travel to various remote areas that are sometimes difficult to reach.
Now, the printing press will enable them to convey news and information easily and without delay.
Wahidi addressed the authors, cultural representatives and reporters attending the ceremony.
“The new printing press will reflect the information needs and the development of the Konar people,” he said. “It will convey the message of the people to the world. The government is trying to fight the enemy using the media to talk about development projects. I will fight the enemies in this province with the information that will be printed through this machine.”
He stated that whatever happens in the country is reported through the media-outlets and pointed to recent news articles about Konar as an example of the power of the media to spread the good news about development in Konar.
Governor Wahidi and other officials toured the printing press facility and witnessed the first run of the press.