Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

President Karzai Sacks Security Chiefs Ahead of NATO Exit

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

President Karzai Sacks Security Chiefs Ahead of NATO Exit

Article excerpt

Under pressure from Afghanistan's Parliament, President Hamid Karzai dismissed Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak and Interior Minister Bismillah Mohammadi.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai announced on Sunday that he would accept the Parliament's decision to dismiss Defense Minster Abdul Rahim Wardak and Interior Minister Bismillah Mohammadi. Mr. Karzai asked both men to remain in office until their replacements are appointed.

The Parliament issued a vote of no confidence in the security ministers on Saturday, blaming the two men for failing to stop cross- border rocket and artillery fire from Pakistan, and political assassinations throughout Afghanistan.

US and NATO forces will likely be watching the change closely, as it takes place while they work to transition security responsibility to Afghan forces ahead of the 2014 deadline. Both men were key players in this process and Western officials maintained a particularly favorable relationship with Mr. Wardak.

Despite much anger toward the two ministers from many of those in Parliament - some of whom expressed frustration that Karzai had even allowed the two men to remain in office until their replacements were selected - the president praised the two men for their "hard work and dedication."

A statement from Karzai's office said, the "Afghan government will not only decorate them with highest state medals of honor, but would ask them to continue as experienced and dedicated persons to serve their nation and their country in other capacities within the government."

Artillery fire from Pakistan has been an ongoing problem for eastern Afghanistan, particularly those in Kunar Province. Government officials estimate that at least 3,500 Pakistani rocket and artillery rounds have hit Kunar alone over the past two years.

Officials say that accurate statistics are difficult to maintain due to insecurity in Kunar, but they add that in the last four and half months alone more than 15 people have been killed, and 27 injured, including women and children. Additionally, dozens of homes have been destroyed and more than 1,000 people have been displaced.

With porous borders between Afghanistan and Pakistan, insurgents move freely between both countries and Pakistani forces are likely firing at insurgents who conduct attacks inside Pakistan and take refuge in eastern Afghanistan. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.