MPs say insulted by president's guards
KABUL (PAN): A number of parliamentarians on Saturday said that they were thoroughly searched by security guards of the president before entering the Parliament building on Friday when Indian prime minister delivered a speech.
Special security guards of President Hamid Karzai were deployed at the entrance of the parliament to search everybody entering the building.
Manmohan Singh, who arrived in Kabul on Thursday, told the Afghan Parliament on Friday that Afghanistan had to take decisions without foreign interference.
"Parliamentarians are public representatives; they should not be searched this way. The guards even checked our shoes," Abdul Sattar Khawasi, an MP from central Parwan province, told Pajhwok Afghan News.
He asked the Parliament's administrative body to seriously look into the issue with officials concerned.
Farida Ahmadi, a representative from southwestern Nimroz province, on the other hand said the guards misbehaved with some MPs.
"There was also a scuffle between my bodyguards and the guards of Presidential Palace. Both sides were about to start fighting," she said.
"I think, it was an insult to parliamentarians," Kamal Khan Ausli, a representative from Khost province, said. He said parliamentarians in no country were searched while entering a sensitive place.
A spokesman for the president, Syamak Hirawi, said parliamentarians do not need to be upset with the search.
"We know about our security problems. It is clear to everyone that on such important occasions, a search is crucial," he said.
He dismissed the claim that no minister had been searched; saying every person entering the parliament was checked.
Military analyst and former deputy interior minister, Abdul Hadi Khalid, said the check was an insult to MPs. "A security official can be distrusted, but not parliamentarians," he said.
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