Foreign spies behind parliament assault: Lawmakers
KABUL (Pajhwok): Some lawmakers on Tuesday alleged Monday’s coordinated suicide attack on the lower house of parliament was conducted with the help of foreign spy networks averse to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Pakistani intelligence service.
But other legislators claimed the audacious assault was carried out with the help of government officials, urging the authorities to seriously investigate the incident, involving eight gunmen
The strike came when Mohammad Masoom Stanikzai was being introduced as defence minister-designate by Vice-President Sarwar Danish. Afghanistan has been without a defence minister for the past 10 months.
According to the Kabul police chief, a woman and a kid died in the attack while 28 more civilians were wounded. All the attackers were gunned down by the security detail. Six of the assailants were shot dead by Afghan soldier Issa Khan.
On Tuesday, a special session of the Wolesi Jirga was held in an adjoining building because of the damage to the main compound. The defence minister nominee was to appear before MPs for endorsement but his appearance was postponed for the next day.
The house decided to contribute financial assistance to Issa Khan -- who has since become social media focus -- and other security forces for giving a befitting response to the assailants.
Fawzia Kofi, lawmaker from northeaster Badakhshan province, said yesterday’s attack was in reaction to stern opposition from MPs to the intelligence deal with Islamabad. She demanded serious investigation into the incident.
Some government officials, however, say the intelligence agreement between the spy agencies of Afghanistan and Pakistan has been finalised and would be signed after completion of five procedures.
Earlier, some members of the house had called on the government to cancel the deal, opining it was against the interests of Afghanistan. Farooq Majrooh, hailing from western Herat province, said: “We won’t sign the deal even if we die.”
Shekiba Hashimi, an MP from southern Kandahar, claimed the attack had been plotted by Pakistan and other intelligence agencies. She said they wanted a non-existent parliament and to facilitate the expansion of Daesh in Afghanistan.
Almas Zahid, another lawmaker, likened the strike to an attack on the Afghan nation. He wondered how the attack took place at the western gate that was the closest to the house.
“For a decade, I have been part of this august house. But I don’t know about the weapons cache here, how did the insurgents get this information?” The cache exploded in yesterday’s attack.
Some MPs alleged the attack was conducted with the connivance of some government officials. One of them, Farkhunda Zahra Naderi, saw “traitors” behind the incident. She urged the government to unmask the elements.
Nilofar Ibrahimi, a public representative from Badakhshan province, remarked: “Without insider cooperation, nobody can enter the house.” She hinted at the complicity of house staff.
Gen. Nazifa Zaki, another lawmaker, claimed the attackers had entered Kabul in cars that did not have registration numbers -- something that should be thoroughly investigated.
“Even vehicles that have parliament cards and registration numbers are stopped and checked. But how did the attackers’ car filled with rockets and other weapons managed to reach here?”
Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi observed Afghanistan’s enemies had once again shown they did not have any intention of promoting peace efforts. He said a committee would be formed to investigate the incident and present its findings to the house.
Some members also praised the speaker for showing remarkable calm, composure and good management during the assault, which sent most MPs rushing for the exits.
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