News - Afghanistan
The Minister of Interior, Deputy Director of the National Directorate of Security (NDS) and Deputy Chief of Army Staff were invited to the Senate to answer questions about the recent wave of deadly attacks that has swept the country in recent weeks.
Minister of Interior Nur-ul-Haq Ulumi was the first to acknowledge neglect on the part of some of the security forces, but assured that all together they would not hesitate to destroy the enemy. "The security forces have been ordered to kill as many anti-government armed forces as Afghan forces are killed and no mercy will be shown," Ulumi said.
He added that immediate reforms are being pursued within the Ministry of Interior. "We have started to bring changes to the Police Commands; for example, we fired the Ghazni police chief because he had come to Kabul and gone abroad without cooperating with us," Ulumi said. "His file has been sent to the Attorney General's office and someone else will be appointed to the position instead of him," he continued.
General Murad Ali Murad, the Deputy Chief of Army Staff, recognized significant challenges facing the Afghan military. "Enemy activities have increased, and the upcoming year will be a difficult year for us," Gen. Murad told the Senators on Saturday.
The general also emphasized that internal and ethnic disagreements pose a more difficult challenge than anti-government armed forces in many parts of the country.
Meanwhile, Hesamuddin Hesam, the Deputy Director of the NDS, assured the Senators that progress was being made, despite how things may seem on the surface. "Despite some neglect that we have had recently, we have had achievements, too," Hesam said on Saturday. "We have arrested seven suicide bombers in a week."
And yet, the responses provided by the top security officials were by and large unacceptable to the lawmakers of the Upper House, who accused the National Unity Government of letting petty politics threaten national security.
"The president is a very unprofessional and inexperienced individual," Senator Zalmai Zabuli said.
"Who answers for all the killings that happen every day?" Senator Gul Ahmad Azami asked. "Has the son of an MP or Minister been killed so far?"
Senator Farhad Sakhi suggested President Ashraf Ghani would have been wise to stall his trip to Iran and come to Parliament to answer for all of the violence and turmoil of the past couple weeks. "I wish the Commander-in-Chief was in the Senate today with his cabinet to answer and wouldn't have gone to Iran to be deceived again," Sakhi said.