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Senators want defence minister to stand down

Senators want defence minister to stand down

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On
Apr 24, 2011 - 18:20

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): Members of the Meshrano Jirgainfo-icon, upper house of Parliament, on Sunday asked Defence Minister Gen. Abdul Rahim Wardak to stand down following last week's attack on the ministry's building in Kabul.

On Monday, an assailant in the Afghan National Army uniform managed to enter the heavily-fortified building and killed three officials before he was shot dead by the security guards on duty. 

Senator Dr. Zalmay Zabuli assailed Defence Ministry spokesman Gen. Zahir Azimi for his statement that parliamentarians had issued the call for the minister's resignation at the behest of militants. The spokesman should be prosecuted for his remarks that amounted to contempt of Parliament, he said.

Hafiz Abdul Qayyum, a public representative from eastern Nuristan province, echoed Zabuli's view. He said Azimi should be suspended and referred to the Attorney General's office.

In a unanimously-passed resolution, the senators condemned the ministry spokesman's statement as "irresponsible". The four-point resolution said Azimi should be summoned to the upper house for explanation.

It added the members stuck to their demand for the Wardak's replacement. Eighty-eight of the 90 legislators present during the session supported the move.

Chairman Fazli Hadi Muslimyar urged President Hamid Karzai to nominate a new defence minister to seek a vote of confidence from the upper house. He wanted Azimi to apologise to the Meshrano Jirga and the nation for his derogatory comments.    

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