Senate calls minister, appoints team to probe airport attack
KABUL (Pajhwok): The Meshrano Jirga or upper house of the parliament on Sunday decided to summon the higher education minister over an ongoing strike by teachers of public sector universities in Kabul.
The teachers of Kabul University, Kabul medical university, Polytechnic and Education University have been on strike over the past 10 days, seeking changes to the higher education law.
They maintain if the law approved by the president through a legislative decree is not amended, they would continue their strike.
They say based on the presidential decree more than 2,500 professors would be dropped from their roles and 785 more would be retired.
Hassebullah Kalimzai, a lawmaker from central Maidan Wardak province, told the general session: “Most presidential decrees are issued against law. Now the president wants to destroy the future of students by issuing the legislative decree about the higher education law.”
Kalimzai said the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) would face many problems if the professors continued their strike and their problems were not resolved.
He asked the Senate administrative board to address the issue as soon as possible.
Jumadin Gayanwal, another senator, also demanded solution to professors’ problem and said: “Besides depriving a large number of students of education, the MoHE would also lose hundreds of professional teachers.”
Gayanwal and a number of other lawmakers called for summoning the higher education minister to the house to provide explanation about the issue.
Mohammad Alam Ezedyar, first deputy chairman, said legal demands of professors should be addressed. “We should not lose professional lecturers,” he said.
A majority of the lawmakers present voted in favour of summoning the minister next week.
Meanwhile, some Senators called the Taliban’s attack on the Kandahar airport as “questionable” and urged a thorough investigation.
More than 50 people, including 14 Taliban attackers, were killed after they stormed the airport in southern Kandahar province in a coordinated attack that lasted 20 hours.
According to reports, 38 civilians, 10 Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers and two policemen, were killed and another 17 ANA soldiers, four policemen and 14 civilians were wounded in the attack.
Rahmatullah Asakzai, a Meshrano Jirga member from Kandahar, said:“I am senator and all airport officers know me, they check every person at several checkpoints. How the attackers entered there, it is questionable.”
He asked an investigation into the incident and said local security officials had received information the attackers were equipped inside the airport.
Senator Rana Tarin held similar views and called the attack crime against humanity.
“It should be probed whether security forces had committed negligence in duty or it was a deal. If negligence is involved, strict measures should be taken to prevent such incidents in future,” she said.
Several lawmakers including Tarin called for a deep investigation into the incident and sending a special delegation to Kandahar province.
Mohammad Alam Ezedyar said most victims of the Kandahar attack were civilians including women and children.
He said the Afghans’ enemies once again showed they had not respect for Islamic and Afghan values.
A majority of the lawmakers voted to appoint a delegation for an investigation into the Kandahar attack.
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