By Crispin Thorold
BBC correspondent in Kabul
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has made a rare visit to the Afghan provinces just two weeks before the country's first presidential elections.
Heavy security surrounds the president's visits
On Sunday Mr Karzai opened a road in Jawzjan province, a stronghold of another presidential candidate, General Abdul Rashid Dostum.
There was heavy security at the event which passed off without incident.
Mr Karzai's last visit outside Kabul was called off when a rocket was fired near his helicopter.
Whisked from location to location by US military helicopters, the man who is the clear favourite to win next month's presidential elections has not yet held a public rally.
He is, his aides say, too busy running the country.
On Sunday his official duties included opening a new road project in north-western Afghanistan.
In a dusty tent ringed by hundreds of armed bodyguards and soldiers, Hamid Karzai was greeted by girls singing and his fellow presidential candidate, the regional strongman Abdul Rashid Dostum.
The president's last trip outside the Afghan capital to the town of Gardez was aborted after a rocket was fired towards his helicopter, something General Dostum argued could not happen in the north of the country.
"We don't have any security concerns in the northern areas. I want to tell you that after the incident in Gardez, the one carried out by the Taleban, we should have acted against them," General Dostum said.
"People here want peace and stability. They want democracy."
Pushing and shoving
But security concerns have severely restricted this campaign.
The president, a charismatic man who is popular with many Afghans has had few opportunities to meet the people.
Instead, on Sunday, he gave his upbeat message to a select group of tribal leaders.
"Two presidential candidates have come together to open a road. I am here and my rival is here to open a road.
"This is a big success for Afghanistan," President Karzai said.
With the official ceremony over, the road diggers moved into place.
As the president went to watch the start of construction, bodyguards pushed and shoved anyone who tried to get close.
An altercation soon broke out with one man, but degenerated into an American slapping an Afghan.
Only later did it emerge that he had hit the minister of transportation.
With access to the president so restricted it is hard to imagine how he will get his message to the people.