News - Afghanistan
Amid mounting violence around the country, lawmakers in the Lower House of Parliament on Monday voiced suspicions of collusion between government officials and the Daesh group, demanding National Security Advisor Mohammad Hanif Atmar, along with other top security officials, come to the House and answer questions about the group's activities.
The outrage in Parliament comes in the wake of a deadly Daesh-claimed attack in Jalalabad at the end of last week. Although deputy-level security officials visited Parliament last week to answer questions about security conditions around the country, MPs on Monday expressed their deep dissatisfaction with what they were told, ultimately deciding to summon senior security leaders once again.
More pointedly, MPs voiced concerns about, and demanded an investigation into, rumors that the National Security Council provided financial aid to family-members of local Daesh militants.
"I swear to God that the National Security Council pays Daesh, and is helping this group," Nangarhar MP Hazrat Ali said. "Our children are killed every day for no reason, who is Daesh? A God damn group who has no mercy to anyone."
"Government officials in Kunduz give out arms to anti-government armed groups in order to destabilize northern parts of the country," Kunduz MP Kamal said.
The comments from lawmakers come after the Governor of Paktika province accused the National Security Council of distributing money to the families of Daesh members in Barmal district of Paktika. Although the security council has rejected the claims, legislators have defended them.
"When I said the government is dealing with Deash, you criticized my statements and said that emotional talk is not good, but today the current governor and one of the team members of the president is saying that the National Security Council has given out 200,000 USD to the families of Daesh, and that is a reality," Kapisa MP Iqbal Safi told his fellow representatives.
Others voiced support for the Paktika Governor. "The governor of Paktika has told the truth, and I approve his statements," Samangan MP Abdullah said.
While some did not express explicit endorsement of the Paktika Governor's claims, they did highlight the fact that he is putting himself at great risk in making them, which likely indicates that he truly believes what he has said. "A current governor who makes these statements, and can be sacked from his position, must be appreciated," Helmand MP Nematullah Ghafari said.
Saleh Muhammad Saleh, a representative from Kunar, added further to lawmakers' suspicions in claiming that similar activities - officials supporting Daesh militants - were taking place in his province. "In Kunar, too, families of those who kill our soldiers every day are given money," he said.
A number of MPs raised questions about President Ashraf Ghani's handling of national security issues. They expressed doubts about the merits of the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) signed between Washington and Kabul, given that insecurity has gotten progressively worse over the past year. "Why did we sign this agreement, so that our people are murdered every day?" asked Nangarhar MP Lailuma Hakimi.
The Lower House resolved that, on Tuesday, all the commissions of the House will set out clear questions regarding current security conditions and the recent statements of Paktika's Governor.
The questions will be given to security officials, especially the National Security Advisor, and if their answers are unsatisfactory, then President Ghani will be summoned to the House.