Ghani fires Kunduz NDS officials, approves 3 new districts
KUNDUZ CITY (Pajhwok): President Ashraf Ghani on Thursday approved the creation of three new district units after arriving in northern Kunduz province and ordered the sacking of some National Directorate of Security (NDS) officials over the fall of Kunduz City to Taliban militants.
Heading a high level delegation, the president arrived in Kunduz City for a day-long visit, his second trip since October after the urban centre fell to the rebels.
The president is scheduled to hold a series of meetings with local officials, public representatives, tribal elders, the youth and civil society activists.
Ghani held his first meeting at the governor’s office, where about 500 people including women, youth, tribal elders and civil society members were in attendance
The president called the lack of a single command and coordination among security forces the main factor behind the fall of Kunduz city, saying all those officials who had committed negligence in the issue would be brought to justice.
He said provincial NDS officials had failed in discharging their duties and sacked a number of them. Some intelligence forces would be investigated, Ghani said.
“The NDS has failed in Kunduz. I order all those intelligence officials who had committed negligence in their duties to be fired, some of them would be investigated by judicial courts, all security personnel of Kunduz would be replaced.”
He said 20 police officers had been replaced for negligence in duty and the performance of another 20 others was being assessed and if found guilty, they would be referred to attorneys.
Ghani asked Kunduz people to introduce eligible persons for jobs in NDS and police. He said the creation of three new district units including Kalbad, Gurtapa and Aqtash had been approved and budget for the districts was being considered.
Kalbad belongs to Imam Sahib district, Gurtapa to Kunduz City and Aqtash to Khanabad district of the province. with the creation of the three districts, the number of towns in Kunduz increases to nine from six.
The president directed the ministers of hajj and religious affairs, transport and aviation and the Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG) chief to assess all damages caused by the conflict within two weeks.
Each family that lost their houses would be paid 60,000 afghanis, each family that lost one family member would be paid 50,000 afghanis and each person wounded during Kunduz city fight would receive 20,000 afghanis, Ghani said.
The president said his government was working hard to expand the Kunduz airport, implement the urban master plan for Kunduz city, create a mechanism for agriculture and reforms in local government and increase authority of governors.
A clearing operation would be launched soon to flush out militants from Kunduz City and other parts of the province, he said, warning militants and illegal armed men to either recompile with the government or face death.
Before Ghani’s speech to the meeting, a number of local officials, religious scholar and local influential individuals asked the government to pay more attention to Kunduz province, implement development projects, improve security and build Islamic madrasas.
Some reports say three rockets were fired from an unknown direction into Chahardara district close to Kunduz City. A blast was also heard inside the meeting venue.
The delegation headed by Ghani includes First Lady Rula Ghani, Minister of Natural Disaster Management Affairs Wais Ahmad Barmak, Minister of Religious Affairs Faiz Mohammad Osmani and Minister of Transport and Aviation Mohammadullah Batash.
The president had visited Kunduz City in October, weeks after the provincial capital fell to Taliban. Leadership failure has been identified as the main factor behind the capture of Kunduz City by the insurgents.
The strategic city collapsed after a few hours of clashes on September 28. The Taliban remained in control of the city for three days before government forces wrested it back after a two- week operation.
A fact-finding commission on the fall of Kunduz City had said no behind the scene deal was involved in the city collapse.
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