ANA soldiers reject Wardak governor's accusations
MAIDAN SHAHR (PAN): A military commander in the central province of Maidan Wardak on Monday claims from the provincial governor's office that the failures of Afghan soldiers had led to insecurity in the province.
On Sunday the governor’s office issued a statement accusing the Afghan National Army (ANA) of not performing its duty well.
The soldiers don't venture from their checkpoints, or they patrol only on paved roads and do not follow militants into other areas, the statement said, adding that residents had complained that the soldiers were only escorting logistics convoys.
The statement from the governor's office came two days after militants killed five policemen and three National Directorate of Security (NDS) officials after abducting them in Mullahkhel area on outskirts of Maidan Shahr, the provincial capital.
ANA soldiers had made considerable sacrifices in the last three years and they had provided security to the key Kabul-Kandahar Highway, said Gen. Abdul Razaq, the commander of the military corps in Wardak.
"I don’t know why Mohammad Halim Fedayee, the governor, says such things, and it made me very sad," he said. He said that they have had meetings with the governor every Wednesday.
There are three ANA brigades in the province, and 80 percent of the force mans checkpoints on the Maidan-Ghazni and Maidan-Bamyan highways to secure the roads, according to Sunday's statement from the governor's office.
Yet despite the ANA checkpoints, the statement went on, militants carry out 90 percent of their disruptive activities -- such as planting mines, kidnapping, and burning vehicles – within 20 - 100 metres of the checkpoints.
“The ANA led the war in the province, but the soldiers don’t implement the decisions of their coordination centre,” it said.
Meanwhile the Ministry of Defense issued its own statement, saying that the governor should have expressed "sympathy" to the family members of the seven commandos killed in the province, instead of blaming the soldiers for insecurity.
"It is the first time that we have heard such accusations from a government official, and the bravery of Afghan soldiers is clear for all our countrymen," it said.
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