Nuristani warns against cut in police numbers
JALALABAD (PAN): Governor Tamim Nuristani on Saturday warned that several districts in eastern Nuristan province would fall to rebels if police numbers were reduced.
The warning comes after the Ministry of Interior said it had decided to fire a number of police officers in the militancy-plagued province, bordering Pakistan’s northwestern valley of Chitral.
But the governor warned fired policemen could join rebels, a possibility that would further exacerbate the security situation in Nuristan, where insurgents control many parts.
He confirmed receiving a letter from the ministry, sacking some police officers and constables. However, he did not provide figures.
Interior Ministry spokesman Sadiq Siddiqui said Nuristan was a border province and the central government attached great importance to its security.
"The ministry will never take steps that may destabilize the security situation in Nuristan," explained Siddiqui, who said his ministry planned to raise local and public order police forces in the province.
Governor Nuristani insisted he would take up the issue with the National Security Council to stop the ministry from implementing its decision.
Meanwhile, provincial council members alleged salaries of sacked policemen continued to end up in pockets of provincial government officials.
The council's deputy head, Amanullah Inayat Rahman, said senior government functionaries, including the governor and the police chief, were involved in embezzlement of police salaries.
Another council member, Taj Mohammad, said though the decision was not in the interest of the province, yet it would help check corrupt practices.
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