Senate to seek removal of senior officials
KABUL (PAN): Meshrano Jirga members decided on Tuesday to ask President Hamid Karzai for removing his foreign minister, national security adviser and the acting National Directorate of Security chief from their positions.
The decision came after the three failed to appear before the upper house to answer questions from lawmakers regarding the proposed strategic cooperation agreement between Afghanistan and the United States.
Summoned for a second time for Tuesday, the trio once again failed to testify before senators, irking lawmakers. Deputy Chairman Mohammad Alam Ezedyar said the house had sent a letter to the president regarding his top aides.
He said the three officials had been refusing to appear before the Meshrano Jirga, despite being summoned repeatedly. The president had been asked to direct the three to appear before the upper house.
Ezedyar said they would urge Karzai to fire the officials if they did not appear legislators. If the letter does not work, the house intends to refer them to the Attorney General's office for an investigation.
The deputy chairman said the strategic agreement with the US was an important national issue and public representatives should be provided details of the pact.
Ezedyar said that NDS chief Rahmatullah Nabeel was attending a meeting with Karzai regarding the establishment of a special anti-terrorism court. Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul has been to Abu Dhabi to sign an agreement and Security Advisor Rangin Dadfar Spanta was in Germany.
However, a number of senators said "such lame excuses" were not acceptable to them. Dr. Zalmay Zabuli, a legislator from Zabul province, said the three had no respect for the legislature.
He suggested the creation of a commission to investigate the officials as to why they were unwilling to provide the Senate information about the strategic agreement.
"Not trying for terrorists, but to prosecute such officials, a special court should be established. These officials, who spend most of their time abroad, are earning the president a bad name," Zabuli remarked.
Arifullah Pakhtun, a senator from Khost province, echoed Zabuli's remarks. He said the three were making excuses to avoid appearing before the Senate in order to hide realities.
Senator Shahnaz Ghausi from western Herat province suggested a no-confidence vote should be moved against the three for defying the Meshrano Jirga's instructions.
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