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Security officials summoned to Meshrano Jirga

Security officials summoned to Meshrano Jirga

Mar 29, 2011 - 19:29

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): Senior security officials were summoned on Tuesday to the Meshrano Jirgainfo-icon or upper house of Parliament to answer questions about why there had been a spike in violence in the country.

Interior Minister Bismillah Mohammadi, Defence Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak and Deputy Head of the National Directorate of Security Mohammad Younus Zia were grilled by lawmakers on the security of the country.

On Monday, 22 people were killed in a suicide attack in southeastern Paktika province.

Mohammadi said the number of police personnel would be increased from 125,000 to 170,000 within two years from now.

"Though the number will still not be enough, we can maintain security to some extent."

However, he said that in the presence of international troops, Afghan security forces could never become self-reliant.

"They (foreign forces) should leave so that we become self-reliant."

A week ago, President Hamid Karzai announced seven areas which would be handed over to the Afghan security forces from July, 2011. The process of transferring security will be completed by the end of 2014.

Wardak said the Afghan army was strong enough to maintain security in the country. However, he said ordinary people's contribution was at the core of this, something he said had increased over the past one year.

He said international troops had agreed to provide the Afghan army with aircraft and better weapons.

"We should have the same military equipment as foreign forces do."

The minister also criticised foreign soldiers for not paying attention till 2008 to the security of Afghanistaninfo-icon.

However, he said that since that time, they had been coordinating their military operations which had reduced civilian casualties.

A senator, Zalmay Zabuli, said that based on "a credible report", foreign forces had installed a system worth $75 million (3.4 billion afghanis) in Kabul to listen to Karzai and other high level officials' telephone calls.

None of the security officials said anything about the claim.

Another senator, Abdul Wahab, said a large number of police officials were drug addicts and involved in corruption.

Mohammidi declined to say anything about addiction but acknowledged that some police were involved in corruption.

However, he said that an anti corruption campaign had been launched in the ministry.



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