Members of Parliament and a former police chief have raised criticism over what they view as the shortcomings of the leadership of the Ministry of Interior (MoI). They say that for the past year leaders at the ministry have been appointed due to relations rather than merit and that these officials have fallen short in carrying out their responsibilities.
Lawmakers said that Gen. Massoud Andarabi, a former interior minister, and Hayatullah Hayat, a former acting interior minister, as well as the current acting interior minister Gen. Abdul Sattar Mirzakwal, have not succeeded in bringing necessary reforms to the ministry.
They said that corruption in the Ministry of Interior and weak management have also affected police mobilization on the battlefield.
In the last year, the Taliban captured dozens of districts and the management of the war is now facing strong criticism.
Andarabi was appointed as the acting minister of interior in February 2019 and pledged to bring reform and to mobilize the police force--both to enforce the law and to fight on the battlefield. But two lawmakers said that the loss of districts indicated that his plans were not proved effective in reforms as well as for battlefields.
He was removed from his post on March 19, 2021.
“The government leadership has not made the right decision regarding the Ministry of Interior. Wrong decisions are made based on wrong information,” said Abdul Rauf Shpoon, a member of the internal security commission of the Parliament.
Hayatullah Hayat, who served as governor of Helmand, was appointed as the acting minister of interior after Andrabi but was only at the post for three months.
He had no experience in the security or military sector. Analysts said there was no organized plan for police, and so districts fell and the security forces lost strategic areas.
Gen. Abdul Sattar Mirzakwal was appointed to the post on June 19. Some lawmakers said that so far he has not made any tangible progress in bringing reforms to the ministry or in coordinating the police forces fighting against the Taliban in the field.
Mirzakwal said during his first days that going forward the fall of districts would not be acceptable to him.
“It is not acceptable for me that districts are falling. It is not acceptable for me that cities will remain under threat,” Mirzakwal said on June 19.
However, a former official of the ministry said that a difference between words and actions has affected the efficiency of the police and the interior ministry.
“Unprofessional people, for instance, an engineer, came and was appointed as a minister. A computer specialist came and was appointed as a minister,” said former Khost police chief Daud Amin.
But the Ministry of Interior Affairs stated that efforts are underway to implement reform plans.
“There is maximum coordination between commanders and the frontlines. The leadership of the Interior Ministry practically has a presence on the battlefield,” said Mirwais Stanekzai, spokesman for the Ministry of Interior.