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Wolesi Jirga sacks interior minister

Wolesi Jirga sacks interior minister

Jul 22, 2013 - 13:50

KABULinfo-icon (PAN): The Wolesi Jirga -- lower house of parliament -- sacked Interior Minister Lt. Gen. Mujtaba Patang on Monday when he failed to survive a no-confidence vote.

While bringing the motion, lawmakers accused the minister of committing massive corruption and showing incompetence in dealing with security threats.

The house began voting on whether or not to bring a no-confidence motion against Patang after declaring his explanations as unacceptable.

The decision came two days ago when he did not appear and sent his deputy to brief the assembly on the security situation in the country.

Patang appeared before the house on Monday, but MPs rejected his explanations and voted on deciding his fate. Patang explained he had sent his deputy because he was busy dealing with more important official work.

He argued the assembly asked mostly technical questions which his deputy could answer. The Cabinet member said he had attended 63 meetings of parliament and its panels since takeover as interior minister.

Regarding his struggle against corruption, the minister said up to 54 policemen had been referred to the prosecution office over the past six months.

“I acknowledge poor security along highways, but it is not the responsibility of the Ministry of Interior alone. The Ministry of Defence and the National Directorate of Security are also responsible.”

While answering a query, Patang said the authorities delayed issuing weapons to the MPs because some of them demanded more weapons than permissible under the ministry policy.

Under the policy, he said:  “An MP is allowed to carry four weapons but some of them have demanded up to 12 weapons. I can’t do this.”

Owners of private security companies paid the Talibaninfo-icon to disrupt security along highways, he said, adding the firms wanted to defame the Department of Public Protection.

But 136 of the 205 MPs present during the session voted against Patang and sacked him less than a year after takeover as interior minister.

Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi urged President Hamid Karzai to introduce a competent candidate for the job to lawmakers.



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