News / Asia

Afghan Parliament Votes to Dismiss 2 Top Ministers

Afghan Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak in Kabul, June 7, 2012.
Afghan Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak in Kabul, June 7, 2012.
Sharon Behn
ISLAMABAD — Afghanistan’s lawmakers on Saturday fired the country’s ministers of defense and interior for being unable to stop cross border attacks from Pakistan.

Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak and Interior Minister Bismullah Mohammadi were voted out of office after lawmakers criticized them for failing to bring security to the country and protect top officials. They also accused the ministers of corruption.

Abdul Raouf Abrahimi, speaker of the lower house of parliament, said the ministers no longer had the confidence of the parliament.

Abrahimi said the ministers were dismissed from their jobs and the parliament now requests that  President Karzai nominate new persons to the posts.

Lawmakers accused the defense and interior ministers of being unable to stop a series of cross border shellings and rocket fire from northwest Pakistan. The murky border line between the two countries is home to various militant groups that target both Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Their dismissal comes as Afghanistan is rushing to build up its security forces in preparation for the full withdrawal of international combat forces in 2014.

Former member of the Afghan National Economic Commission and now an independent analyst Daud Sultanzai says the ministers’ ouster will make it more challenging and give even less time for Karzai to prepare the country for that transition.

"I think the removal of two key ministers from the security sector definitely will have some effect on the security preparedness of the country, at least in terms of planning and leadership," he said.

A lot depends on what President Karzai decides to do. In similar dismissals in the past, he has kept government leaders on a temporary capacity.

According to a statement released by his office, Karzai is to make a decision after a national security meeting on Sunday.

Analyst Sultanzai says it would take months for any new minister to effectively take over such sensitive portfolios.

"For unfamiliar individuals taking over these two huge responsibilities it will be a very difficult task, in my opinion," he said.

Corruption and insecurity have constantly plagued Mr. Karzai’s government. The international community has put good governance at the top of the list for Afghanistan to continue to receive aid after NATO combat forces leave.

Despite the steady increase of Afghan army recruitment, and the presence of international troops, the number of militant attacks has increased this year. And the situation along the border with Pakistan has deteriorated.

Afghanistan’s government has said Pakistan’s military is behind a series of attacks in the area, which it says has displaced and killed a number of civilians. Pakistan has said it is only attacking anti-Pakistan fighters.

Defense Minister Wardak said prior to Saturday’s vote that he had sent additional troops to the country’s eastern border area, as well as long-range artillery and ammunition.

Pakistan and Afghanistan accuse each other of not doing enough to eliminate militant bases within their borders.

You May Like

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Malek Towghi/Tauqee,Ph.D. from: USA
August 04, 2012 5:05 PM
FOOD for THOUGHT: There are several reasons for thinking that Hamid Karzai, a Pashtun, had always a soft corner in his heart for the predominantly Pashtun Taliban -- and for Pakistan. The mysterious escape of Mulla Omar and his army from Qandahar after the US & allies captured the city in 2001 had raised questions about the possibility of Karazai & Co. collaboration.

I also suspect that on the basis of 'the Pashtun interests first', Karzai and his Pakistani Pashtun counterparts, Asfandiar Wali (the leader of the so-called secularist Awami National Party/ANP) and Maulana Fazlurrahman (the leader of the fundamentalist Jam'iyyat-e Ulamaa-e Islam/JUI party) have come to an understanding -- along with Pakistan's Punjabi & Pashtun generals that the success of Pakistann's 'strategic depth' policy concerning Afghanistan serves the broader Pashtun cause.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More