Ghani assailed for not appreciating frontline soldiers
KABUL (Pajhwok): Civil society activists on Tuesday lashed out at President Ashraf Ghani for what they called “symbolic appreciation” of some security officials, saying soldiers fighting against the enemy on the frontline were not appreciated.
Last week, President Ghani travelled to northern Kunduz province to assess its security situation and appreciated the performance of some security officials.
Dozens of civil society activists who gathered in Kabul to voice their support for Afghan security forces said the president’s gesture was symbolic.
Ahmad Zaki, one of the activists, speaking at the gathering, said: “People who live in palaces are being appreciated and promoted, but no attention and support is given to those who fight on the frontline.”
He said those who freed Kunduz from the clutches of insurgents deserved promotion, ranks and privileges. He urged the government not to be indifferent towards those fighting a hot war with the enemy.
Kunduz City fell to insurgents on September 28 before they were driven by security forces after three days. It took almost two weeks for the entire city to be cleared of the insurgents.
Hamdullah Danishi, Kunduz acting governor, told Pajhwok Afghan News around 20 security forces had lost their lives in the battle for Kunduz and another 70 had been wounded.
Around 70 civilians, including women, children and elderly, were also killed and 180 more wounded, he added.
Zahra Sepehr, another activist, said rich and powerful people were always praised, but not the unsung heroes. “Appreciation is not just confined to commanders and high-ranking officers. We shouldn’t care about sons of generals alone. The president should have appreciated the hungry soldiers who are still fighting in Kunduz.”
She said appreciating a soldier would encourage hundreds of his colleagues engaged in the war. “We are grateful to our security forces for saving the lives of our countrymen under all conditions. We appreciate their bravery.”
Ainuddin Beg, another participant at the gathering, said: “The government appreciates for the Kunduz war those who were in Kabul at the time.”
The president conferred bravery medals on six high-ranking army officers during his visit to Kunduz and granted one-grade promotion to Gen. Abdul Hamid, the 209th Shaheen Military Corps commander.
Imranuddin, a National Directorate of Security (NDS)’s quick response force officer who was killed in the conflict, was also awarded a medal by the president.
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