Acting Defense Minister Asadullah Khalid, who presented a report of his one-year activities at a press conference in Kabul on Thursday said the counterterrorism campaign will continue along with his efforts to fight corruption in the ministry -- which has largely affected anti-terror efforts.
Khalid said the Afghan National Army has been drawn out of defensive and is in an offensive status against militants.
“The clearance operations to retake areas from militants will kick off on time and based on plans,” said Khalid.
He said dozens of corruption cases have been investigated in the Ministry of Defense and that he remains committed to overcoming the problem.
“At least 3,930 cases have been investigated, of which, 633 belong to officers and the remaining involve soldiers and lieutenants,” Khalid added.
At the same event, Acting Minister of Interior Affairs, Massoud Andarabi vowed to implement the government’s security plan in full cooperation with the Ministry of Defense.
He also vowed to expedite efforts for fighting corruption.
“At least 55 cases have been investigated and 66 officers, nine sergeants, and three administrative employees were found guilty,” said Andarabi.
Meanwhile, Acting Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani said Afghanistan has had good achievements in its foreign policy during the last year.
“Expansion of bilateral relations and strategic cooperation, strengthening Afghanistan’s position in the international arena, and strengthening multi-dimensional economic diplomacy can be labeled as examples of the efforts and achievements made (in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs),” said Rabbani.
Rabbani added that strengthening regional and international consensus for supporting Afghanistan’s peace process is a top priority of the ministry.
The remarks come as efforts for the peace process have been expedited and, meanwhile, both the Afghan government and the Taliban have announced their “spring operations” which some critics say they will affect the efforts for reaching a political settlement to the conflict in Afghanistan.