| ||MPs to Mohammadi: Follow in Wardak footsteps|
By Abasin Zaheer
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KABUL - Some parliamentarians on Wednesday praised Gen. Abdul Rahim Wardak’s resignation and asked interior minister Bismillah Mohammadi to prove his democratic credentials by follow in the ex-defence minister’s footsteps.
On Saturday, the lower house unseated the top security ministers over rocket and missile barrages from Pakistan into eastern Afghanistan. But a day later, the National Security Council (NSC) directed them to continue working as acting ministers.
However, Wolesi Jirga Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi On Monday, asked the president to reverse the NSC decision, which he slammed as illegal. Under the relevant law, a minister who failed to survive a no-confidence vote could not work in an acting capacity, he claimed.
With President Hamid Karzai still looking for his replacement, Wardak on Tuesday announced his resignation at a news conference in Kabul. He said that he respected the parliament’s vote of no-confidence in him.
“I’m very grateful to the president for reposing his confidence in me and giving me the important assignment of reconstructing Afghan security forces at a time when the war on terror was on.”
He also thanked the Wolesi Jirga for twice giving him a trust vote. “Being an Afghan citizen, I firmly believe in democracy and respect the parliamentary reasons for unseating me.”
A Wolesi Jirga member from southern Kandahar province, Mohammad Naeem Lalai Hamidzai lauded Gen. Wardak for respecting the parliamentary vote. He urged the house to give the ex-minister a certificate of appreciation.
He called for Mohammadi to his cue from Wardak, bow to the constitution and stand down with immediate effect.
Wagma Sapi, a female public representative from eastern Kunar province, also extolled Wardak and urged the acting interior minister to follow suit. His departure would help promote a healthy political culture, she hoped.
Another woman MP from northern Kunduz province, Fatima Azizi, remarked: “With his resignation, Wardak has demonstrated respect for democratic norms.”
She also called for summoning ministers of information, finance and labour and social affairs to brief lawmakers on their activities.