Negligence in Kunduz incident to be probed: CEO
KABUL (Pajhwok): Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah has said there is no doubt negligence had been committed in the Kunduz incident and reasons behind the fall would be investigated.
Abdullah, who attended the 70th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), was addressing a press conference in New York before departing for Afghanistan.
The CEO shortened his visit in New York and rescheduled some meetings and cancelled others due to the fall of Kunduz City, the capital of northern Kunduz province, to the Taliban insurgents.
Afghan security forces on Wednesday wrested back the entire city from Taliban during a counter-offensive that began last night. “I want to be inside my country with my people and security forces in this sensitive situation,” Abdullah said.
He said all the people of Afghanistan, particularly residents of Kunduz, were living under tough conditions. “There is no doubt negligence has been committed in the Kunduz incident, but it is not the time to discuss who committed the negligence. The reasons will be known after investigation.”
Abdullah said it was the time the entire nation should join hands and support their national security forces. He said the fall of Kunduz was indeed a victory for the enemy, but it should not ignored that the Afghan security forces brought the situation to normal with their bravery and the support of the people.
He said there had been problems in Kunduz for the past 10 months, but no attention was paid. He said the people of Kunduz wanted swift and serious measures and the Afghan forces had been putting up stiff resistance over the past few days.
He said the Afghan forces had problems and shortcomings which the Afghan government had been trying to address.
To a question, Abdullah said NATO forces had assisted the Afghan forces in Kunduz, but the local forces were in the lead.
He also rejected rumours about the health condition of President Ashraf Ghani and said except foot injury he had no other health problem.
Abdullah said the Afghan delegation attending the UN General Assembly had made clear Afghanistan’s stance to the world. He said it was for the first time that so many heads of states and high-ranking officials attended the UNGA.
On the sidelines of the UNGA, Abdullah said special meetings discussing Afghanistan, terrorism, narcotics and women’s rights took place in which the Afghan delegation participated.
Abdullah also told Reuters news agency that Afghan forces had been shouldering "a huge responsibility" in the past year since the withdrawal of the bulk of foreign troops from Afghanistan. Abdullah said it was up to the United States to decide whether to reconsider plans for reducing its presence.
But he said: "As far as I understand, the view of all those (US) Army generals and officers on the ground ... in Afghanistan, as well as our own security and military leadership, is that maintaining a level of force beyond 2016 is necessary."
Asked about criticisms of himself and President Ashraf Ghani over the fall of Kunduz, Abdullah said the reasons for its capture by the Taliban would have to be looked into.
Abdullah said there would be time to address the criticism. "But today is the time to unite around our security forces and back those security forces and help them in whatever way ... so the people of Kunduz are rescued."
Abdullah elaborated on charges he levelled at neighbouring Pakistan in his General Assembly address when he called on Islamabad to crack down on militant sanctuaries.
"I would say that without (the) support the Taliban are receiving in Pakistan, the military, security situation would have been different, so it's an important issue," he said.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.