Fall of Kunduz: Senators blame provincial officials
KABUL (Pajhwok): Some Meshrano Jirga or Senate members on Tuesday strongly condemned the fall of northern Kunduz City, calling for severe punishment to government and provincial security officials concerned.
Hundreds of Taliban militants attacked the strategic city on the night between Sunday and Monday from three directions, overrunning a number of government buildings, including the police headquarters and the central prison.
The rebels set free hundreds of inmates from the jail and captured the main civil hospital on Monday amid clashes with security forces.
Local officials on Monday said the entire Kunduz City had fallen, with security forces moving to the airport and Bala Hisar area to prepare for a counterattack.
A Pajhwok Afghan News correspondent reported at 7:00pm Monday that the insurgents took the majority of government buildings under their control, torching some buildings.
Most of international organisations and government officials had arrived at the airport to depart from the province, he reported.
But on Tuesday, the Afghan security forces launched a clearing operation, retaking the newly-built police headquarters and the prison from the Taliban. The operation is ongoing.
President Ashraf Ghani, who marked his first anniversary in office on Tuesday, vowed to retake Kunduz City from Taliban.
Senators at today’s session strongly criticised the provincial security officials and the governor of Kunduz province for their failure to avoid the debacle.
Senator Sher Mohammad Akhunzada said security forces had retreated despite having arms and ammunition.
He said the insurgents had seized weapons, arms caches and captured dozens of vehicles. In addition, they looted banks and jewelry shops, he claimed.
He demanded the provincial governor, the police chief, and other senior army officials be charged with treason and awarded capital punishment.
Senator Faisal Sami also lambasted the government for failing on security front and said the Kunduz incident made it clear the Afghan government could not protect the country from insurgents.
He claimed the Afghan government and local residents suffered $1 billion in losses as a result of the fall of Kunduz City. He claimed the insurgents had freed 602 inmates including Taliban shadow governors and other commanders.
Senate Chairman Fazal Hadi Muslimyar said government officials did not listen to lawmakers’ suggestions and that was why Taliban easily captured the northern city.
He said the US and NATO were silent over the Kunduz incident which was regrettable.
Muslimyar said the so-called Islamic State fighters had staged attacks on security check-posts in Achin district of eastern Nangarhar province and 90 percent of the fighters were Pakistanis.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.