The head of the defense affairs committee in Parliament said that one of the reasons for the fall of districts to the Taliban is the unprofessional management and selection of police commanders for the districts.
This comes a day after the head of the Parliament’s internal security commission accused the Office of the National Security Council (ONSC) of incompetence, saying interference by the ONSC in the affairs of the country’s security agencies is complicating the war effort on the battlefield.
Last year the Office of the National Security Council (ONSC) announced the appointment of 100 commanders for the districts.
The ONSC at the time said that the move was to improve the security situation in those districts which were not stable from a security perspective.
But the head of Parliament’s defense commission said that the fall of the districts to the Taliban is related to mismanagement by these police commanders in the districts.
Meanwhile, a number of security analysts said that the appointment of police commanders is the authority of the Ministry of Interior and no other organ including the ONSC has the right to interfere there.
President Ashraf Ghani at the time publically welcomed the appointments made by the ONSC.
“There will be a management system, a motivation, a commitment and a movement and the Afghan nation will remember it with pride in their history,” said Ghani at the time.
“We want you to act with seriousness, we want you to show that when a powerful leader goes to a district, then he is able to change the entire situation,” said Hamdullah Mohib, National Security Adviser.
However, Parliament’s defense commission said that the appointment was full of shortcomings.
“The way they were recruited was not right; if we were looking to bring reforms, we had people in the police ranks to be replaced and the situation could be much better than it is now,” said Mir Haidar Fazli, the head of Parliament’s defense commission.
Dawlat Abad district in Faryab, Jalga and Nahrain districts in Baghlan, Khan Abad district in Kunduz, Jurm and Shaghnan districts in Badakhshan, Darqad district in Takhar, Siah Gard district in Parwan, Ab Band district in Ghazni are among the districts that have fallen to the Taliban. These districts were among the 100 districts for which the ONSC announced new police commanders last year.
“The status of police commanders is clearly written in the law, which is approved through a board by the Ministry of Interior. Regarding this issue, the Office of the National Security Council does not have any authority and it cannot interfere there,” said Mirza Mohammad Yarmand, former deputy minister of interior.
“From a legal perspective, it (ONSC) does not have the authority to do so—they have defined authority in their own way and there is no one above them to ask why,” said Sayed Eshaq Gailani, the head of Nahzat-e-Hambastagi Milli Afghanistan party.
Why did the ONSC make the decision?
“We had high-level security threats during those days in 128 districts, there was a thought at the time to use the police structure too towards tackling the war in the districts,” said Rafi Fazel, the technical deputy of the ONSC.
The criticism comes as the Taliban has taken over 200 districts following the announcement of the withdrawal of US forces.