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President takes Patang’s dismissal to SC

President takes Patang’s dismissal to SC

Jul 22, 2013 - 18:00

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): In reaction to Interior Minister Pujtaba Patang's sacking by the Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon, President Hamid Karzai on Monday said he had not yet decided whether or not to accept the no-trust vote.

In a statement from his office, Karzai said Patang would stay as acting interior minister, while he sought legal advice from the Supreme Court (SC) on the procedure.

"Parliament has the right to make such decisions," Karzai conceded. "But at the same time, I want to be clear the motion was based on accurate results and was according to the law."

Lawmakers said Patang, a former provincial police chief, had combat to fight corruption and ignored parliamentary summons.

In a startling revelation, Patang told the house 2,748 police officers, or about two percent of the force, had been killed by insurgents since March 21. But his office later clarified the figure to say it included the officers wounded in fighting.

Patang argued it was the job of the more heavily-armed military to protect remote areas and highways, including the vital economic lifeline running south to Kandahar.

"I'm on the threshold of NATOinfo-icon's withdrawal," he said. "There will be lots of problems, there will be lots of challenges. From March 21 up to now, I swear to god, 2,748 police have been martyred. Imagine what effect it has on my mind."

Last August, the parliament voted to remove former defence minister Abdul Rahim Wardak and then interior minister Bismillah Mohammadi over assassinations of top officials and incidents of cross-border fire from Pakistaninfo-icon.

Patang said the parliament appeared to have been taken over by "political wolves" determined to bring him down, and accused the body of bowing to "mafia-like groups" within it.

The sacking came the day America's top military officer, General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, arrived in Kabul in a bid to reopen talks on the Bilateral Security Agreement.

A statement from the Presidential Palace quoted Karzai as saying the Afghans were ready to sign the agreement.

The president told the top US military commander he was ready in principle to let American troops stay in Afghanistaninfo-icon beyond 2014, a month after suspending security talks. Karzai's office said both sides discussed the Afghan-US security pact.


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