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    MP ends protest after apology from speaker

    KABUL (PAN): A public representative from southern Kandahar province, Abdul Rahim Ayubi, ended his protest against the Wolesi Jirga’s acceptance of the explanations offered by finance and interior ministers.

    Ayubi masked his face and tied up his hands and feet against Saturday’s decision to let off the two ministers, summoned by the lower house to answer questions from lawmakers on budgetary changes and civilian deaths.

    However, the legislators unanimously accepted answers from Finance Minister Hazrat Omar Zakhelwal and Interior Minister Gen. Bismillah Mohammadi on the issues. But some members opposed the Parliament’s decision.

    After removing his mask on requests from Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi and other colleagues, Ayubi said the administrative board had refused him a chance to speak on the important public-interest questions.

    A second reason for his protest was members’ decision on the trust vote for the ministers. He believed that the MPs, instead of being asked to approve or reject the ministerial explanations, should have voted for or against the Cabinet members.

    He asked the speaker and administrative board members to resign, alleging the board was under the influence of Hezb-i-Islami Afghanistan and Jamiat-i-Islami Afghanistan, former jihadi groups.

    If Ayubi’s demands were not met, they would stage similar protests, lawmaker from Paktia Kamal Nasir warned.

    Later, a delegation met Ayubi, who said the administrative board should apologise to him. Subsequently, Ibrahimi offered him an opology and second deputy speaker, Naimatullah Ghafari, unfastened Ayubi’s hands and feet.