MPs Concerned Over Claims Govt Arming Civilians

News - Afghanistan

Monday, 25 May 2015 19:30 Written by Sharif Amiri

Legislators in parliament on Monday claimed that government is arming civilians in some northern regions of Afghanistan in order to help fight insurgents.

According to lawmakers, the government's move could be useful in some instances but the move could also create bigger challenges for government in the long term.

In response to these concerns, the Afghan Ministry of Interior (MoI) has dismissed the claims saying these allegations are untrue.

"The ministry of interior doesn't provide weapons to the individuals who do not work in the structure of police and it is not part of the policy of the Ministry of Interior. We have enough personnel in the ranks of national police and local police who keep an upper hand in eliminating opponents and threats," MoI spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said.

This comes as insurgents expanded their offensive into the north of Afghanistan during the recently launched fighting season. However some officials claim that former Taliban fighters who have laid down their weapons are now trying to rearm themselves.

But some MPs believe that ex-local commanders have the upper hand when it comes to intelligence and feel they could contribute positively to government's attempts to fight insurgents. However, MPs say a guarantee is needed in terms of these commanders not creating problems further down the line.

"People get arms for sake of their own defense, there is no guarantee that they will not create problems, the whole responsibility lies with the government to main security," MP Rangeena Kargar said.

He is concerned that if such groups are not closely monitored by government, they could create enormous problems in future.

"It is a matter of concern, such individuals and illegal armed groups beside contributing to problems could be a reason for the downfall of the system," MP Najia Emaq said.

Currently, more than 350,000 soldiers serve in the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) – enough to stamp out insurgents, say analysts.

Source : tolonews[dot]com
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