e-Ariana - Todays Afghan News
 Home 
 News 
 Articles 
 Cartoons 
 Feedback 
 Opinion  
 Contact Us  
 An Ariana Media Publication 11/27/2014
 Afghan President Moves to Reassure Allies After Security Ministers Are Dismissed

The New York Times
08/06/2012
By Alissa J. Rubin and Sangar Rahimi

[Printer Friendly Version]

KABUL — President Hamid Karzai moved quickly on Sunday to confirm Parliament’s decision to dismiss two senior security ministers the day before, but he reassured the Western allies that he would avoid a vacuum in the two ministries charged with fighting the war and organizing the transition to Afghan control.

In a statement, Mr. Karzai said he had requested that both of the men who were dismissed, Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak and Interior Minister Bismillah Khan Mohammadi, stay on until replacements could be found. Describing them as “true sons of Afghanistan,” he said that they would be decorated for their service and would remain in the government in different jobs.

The effects of the dismissals will not be clear until Mr. Karzai signals how quickly he expects to replace them and the level of presidential trust they will enjoy in the interim, government officials said.

While some in Parliament who voted for the removal of the two officials were upset that the president did not act immediately to replace them, others said a delay would be understandable. “We have fighting almost every day in all of the provinces; therefore, he should find the best candidate. These ministries are both extremely important,” said Hajji Obaidullah Barakzai, a lawmaker from Uruzgan Province.

The Parliament’s motivation for removing the two ministers remained unclear. Some observers said that the men had failed to award jobs and contracts widely enough and had slighted Parliament members’ demands.

Mr. Karzai was responsible the last time two ministers were removed, in June 2010, when his disapproval of the performance of the interior minister, Hanif Atmar, and the director of the intelligence service, Amrullah Saleh, compelled them to resign.

In those cases, Pakistan prodded the Afghan government to act because it considered the men to be hostile to Pakistani interests.

Pakistan may have been a factor this time, too, but the circumstances are more complex.

In interviews this weekend, Pakistan’s interior minister, Rehman Malik, accused Afghanistan of harboring insurgents hostile to Pakistan. The accusation rankles Afghans, who feel that they have been the victim of insurgents from havens in Pakistan, and, more recently, of repeated rocket attacks from within Pakistan.

Mr. Mohammadi has been strongly critical of Pakistan, but was seen as failing to protect Afghans from attacks across the border, Afghan officials said.

When he appeared before Parliament on Saturday, he again warned the lawmakers that whether he remained in his job or not, Afghanistan would remain vulnerable to Pakistan. “As long as ISI is free to intervene in Afghanistan, we will not see a happy day,” he said, referring to Pakistan’s spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence. “They still have a very antagonistic strategy toward us.”

Pakistan did not have to press Parliament to remove Mr. Mohammadi or Mr. Wardak because lawmakers were already unhappy with access to patronage networks and their growing sense of the country’s vulnerability.

“There have been attempts to bribe Parliament on national issues, but it has not worked. Their stands reflect their fears or hopes,” said Ashraf Ghani, a senior adviser to Mr. Karzai and leader of the security transition, adding that Mr. Mohammadi’s criticisms of Pakistan had done little to assuage their fears of further hostilities from Pakistan and “a perception of national humiliation.”

Several Parliament members said they were disappointed that Mr. Karzai had not handed over the ministries to the deputy ministers.

One Parliament member, Gul Pacha Majidi of Paktia Province, said he had hoped that the president would put the deputies in charge, and he said that he and others were wary about whether Mr. Karzai would make good on his promise to nominate new ministers.

“The Parliament will decide tomorrow regarding our next step,” he said.

Mr. Karzai has sometimes ignored the Parliament’s decisions to dismiss ministers, leaving them in charge for months or years. However, most lawmakers said Sunday that they did not think that would happen in this case.

Back to Top



Other Stories:


Has Afghan election fraud controversy been defused?
The Christian Science Monitor (06/25/2014)

Moscow’s Afghan Endgame
The Diplomat (06/25/2014)

Apologize to people, MPs asks Abdullah
Pajhwok (06/25/2014)

The Men Who Run Afghanistan
The Atlantic (06/23/2014)

After Karzai
The Atlantic (06/23/2014)

IEC secretary announces resignation
Pajhwok (06/23/2014)

IECC spurns Abdullah’s claim; hails UN intervention
Pajhwok (06/23/2014)

Afghan election crisis: 'stuffed sheep' recordings suggest large-scale fraud
The Guardian (06/23/2014)

Foreign spies trading on poll crisis: People
Pajhwok (06/22/2014)

Election commission office closed in Kunduz due to security threats
Khaama Press (06/22/2014)

Afghan Leader Backs U.N. Election Role
The New York Times (06/21/2014)

Tensions mount over Afghan vote, protest held in Kabul
Reuters (06/21/2014)

Hundreds protest alleged Afghan election fraud
The Associated Press (06/21/2014)

Afghan Presidential Election Takes Dangerous Turn
The Huffington Post (06/21/2014)

20,000 Heratis being sent to Iran for work
Pajhwok (12/27/2013)

At Kabul airport, exodus of U.S. aid goes on
The Washington Post (12/27/2013)

Haqqani Network leaders sexually abuse teenager boys
Khama Press (12/27/2013)

Unemployment, Crime Rising Ahead Of Troop Pullout
Tolo (12/27/2013)

British army head warns Taliban could retake key territory in south
Khama Press (12/27/2013)

Election Officials Emphasize Impartial Surveys
Tolo (12/27/2013)

A Complete US Withdrawal From Afghanistan Would Be 'A Complete Catastrophe' For Civilian Aid
Reuters (12/27/2013)

Facing Big Changes, Anxious Afghans Hope For The Best In 2014
NPR (12/27/2013)

Afghanistan, North Korea, and Somalia Are the World's Most Corrupt Countries, With China in the Middle
businessweek.com (12/04/2013)

Poetry of Betrayal: Afghan Elections and Transitional Justice
Beacon Reader (10/25/2013)

Couple beheaded in Helmand province for having love affair
Khaama Press (10/25/2013)

US senator says no aid for Afghanistan unless security deal finalized
Khaama Press (10/25/2013)

Would-be child bombers detained: NDS
Pajhwok (10/25/2013)

Afghanistan
PJ (10/24/2013)

The Afghan dead find a list
Inter Press Service (10/24/2013)

10 runners shortlisted in 2014 presidential race
Pajhwok (10/24/2013)


Back to Top