Name picks for defence minister, spymaster, Ghani asked
KABUL (Pajhwok): The Wolesi Jirga speaker on Saturday welcomed the government’s decision to consult parliamentarians on the current situation, but asked the president to nominate his picks for spymaster and minister of defence.
President Ashraf Ghani is expected to hold a meeting with members of both houses of parliament and senior government officials on important issues facing the country. The meeting is expected in the next few days.
“I expect the joint meeting will not be a formality. The current war in Afghanistan is the legacy of the US-Russia cold war and since then our people are giving sacrifices. The US should either protect our people or leave Afghanistan,” a lawmaker from northern Balkh province, Abbas Ibrahimzada, said.
He asked the president to explain the policy of war and update the people on the current issues and also take urgent steps towards ending the plight of Afghans
Meshrano Jirga second deputy chairman Haseeb Kalimzai Wardak said the peace talks had failed and Afghans were being killed each day and that was why the president wanted to seek the opinion of lawmakers.
“The government of Afghanistan and the international community know Pakistan’s dual-faced policy on peace in Afghanistan, so the president wants to discuss the issue with public representatives. The president also wants to put pressure on countries with whom Afghanistan has signed agreements,” he believed.
On behalf of the Meshrano Jirga, Wardak supported the meeting and said all members of parliament would support the president’s decision.
Meanwhile, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Gulam Nabi Farahi said the president wanted to discuss some important issues with lawmakers. He denied to disclose the exact date and venue of the meeting due to security reasons, but said preparations for the meeting were in place.
During his brief remarks in the Wolesi Jirga, Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi called the planned consultative meeting a good idea. However, he reminded the president to introduce his nominees for National Directorate of Security (NDS) and MoD heads to the house before the meeting.
For about a year now, the MoD has been under an acting minister, Masoom Stanikzai. Similarly the NDS is being led by acting director general, Massoud Andarabisince November2015.
Based on the constitution, a department head or minister could continue in acting capacity for two months only. But the rule has been flouted by the sitting administration, as well as the government of former president Hamid Karzai
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