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Afghan Defense Minister Resigns After Parliamentary Vote

  • VOA News

Afghan Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak speaks at a news conference after resigning, in Kabul August 7, 2012.

Afghan Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak speaks at a news conference after resigning, in Kabul August 7, 2012.

Afghanistan's defense minister has resigned after losing a no confidence vote in parliament.

General Abdul Rahim Wardak told reporters Tuesday in Kabul that he was stepping down to respect the lower house of parliament's decision.

Afghan lawmakers voted Saturday to remove Wardak and Interior Minister Bismillah Mohammadi after a series of insurgent attacks and cross-border shelling incidents blamed on Pakistan. The ministers were censured for failing to bring security to the country and protect top officials.

Following the vote, President Hamid Karzai said Wardak and Mohammadi will remain in office until their replacements are appointed. The president's office did not immediately say Tuesday whether Karzai will accept Wardak's resignation.

The top Cabinet ministers' dismissals come as NATO combat troops withdraw from Afghanistan and look to complete the security transition by the end of 2014.

Also Tuesday, Afghanistan's embattled finance minister, Omar Zakhilwal, told reporters he will disclose his assets to officials investigating corruption claims against him.

The country's top anti-corruption chief, Azizullah Ludin, announced the probe last week after large amounts of money were found to be deposited in the finance minister's overseas bank accounts.
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