Members of the Wolesi Jirga, the Lower House of Parliament, on Monday summoned top security officials over recent attacks in Kabul - especially the attack on Sardar Daud Hospital which left over 50 people dead.
The Defense Minister Lieutenant General Abdullah Khan Habibi, Interior Minister Taj Mohammad Jahid and Masoom Stanikzai, head of the National Directorate of Security were summoned to parliament.
At the beginning of Monday’s session, the MPs criticized the security officials over recent attacks in Kabul – particularly the attack on the hospital.
“The attackers even killed a five-year-old boy when he was in his mother’s arms,” Abdul Rahim Ayubi, an MP from Kandahar said.
Addressing the MPs, the defense minister said the fact-finding team is still working on the hospital attack and that 23 security force members have been arrested over the attack and they will be introduced to the court.
“We have to wait until the investigations on the hospital attack are complete,” he told MPs.
He stressed that Afghanistan’s war originates from beyond the region. “You witnessed that insurgent attacks increased when the Brussels Summit was held,” he noted.
“Last year insurgents tried to take control of one or two provinces to bring Quetta Shura there; but they were defeated. We also had casualties but the enemy has suffered heavy casualties,” he said.
He said the Defense Ministry has worked on four plans which include providing equipment to security forces, working on their leave, training and their mobilization.
“Reforms will be brought in the Defense Ministry and we will prevent corruption. I will not let anyone grab land belonging to the Defense Ministry,” he said.
Talking on the war in Helmand, Habibi said “we have moved the military base in Sangin to a strategic point. Sangin will never fall to militants.”
He added that the army base was located in a weak area in Sangin.
Recently, the government was criticized by the MPs over evacuating of Sangin’s center and there are reports that the Taliban insurgents have returned to the center of the district.
Meanwhile, the Interior Minister Taj Mohammad Jahid told MPs that the National Directorate of Security and the Interior Ministry are not involved in security issues of the hospital but the police Special Unit responded well and rescued the people during the attack.
“We have worked on capacity building of police. We have also sent our delegations to different parts of the country,” he told MPs adding that “we are working on a four-year plan. We will increase the special forces unit in Nangarhar, Herat and Kunduz.”
He added that government is working on a military operation under the name of “Khalid” which will be launched in the near future in order to re-take the areas which have fallen to the enemy.
“We are also working to stop the enemies' supply routes and ensure the safety of the country’s highways,” he added.
Meanwhile, the NDS chief Stanikzai said those who were involved in the attack on Sardar Daud Hospital will be recognized in the near future.
The parliament session was held behind closed doors after a request by the NDS chief.
After the meeting, MPs at the Wolesi Jirga, Lower House of Parliament, voted for the top security officials on the basis of parliament's principles. However the officials survived a vote of no-confidence.
Habibi received 106 votes in his favor while Jahid received 120 votes and Stanikzai got 129 votes in his favor.
This comes after Humayun Humayun, the first deputy speaker of Wolesi Jirga (Lower House of Parliament), on Saturday said President Ashraf Ghani had told him to ignore summoning security ministers; otherwise, he will send an order to dissolve the national assembly.
The Presidential Palace however rejected the remarks and said the issue was not raised in Ghani’s meeting with the deputy speaker.