Afghan parliament votes to dismiss security ministers over 'Pakistan shelling'

Published: August 4, 2012
The fractious parliament voted to remove the pair despite their promises to reinforce the border. PHOTO: AFP/ FILE

The fractious parliament voted to remove the pair despite their promises to reinforce the border. PHOTO: AFP/ FILE

KABUL: The Afghan parliament Saturday voted to dismiss two powerful ministers for failing to act over cross-border shelling blamed on neighbouring Pakistan and over other security issues.

The move obliges President Hamid Karzai to sack Defence Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak, who has strong support among Afghanistan’s Western allies, and Interior Minister Bismillah Mohammadi, a key Karzai ally.

The men are expected to continue serving in an acting capacity until the president introduces replacements.

General Abdul Rahim Wardak will continue serving in the ministry as the acting defence minister until a new minister is introduced by the president,” defence ministry spokesman General Zaher Azimi told AFP.

The two ministers were summoned to appear Saturday before the Wolesi Jirga, or lower house of parliament, to defend their handling of the cross-border shelling and the overall security situation in a country facing a Taliban insurgency.

Late last month more than 300 heavy artillery shells and rockets were fired from Pakistan into Afghanistan’s eastern Kunar province, killing at least four people, Afghan officials said.

It was the latest in a series of barrages and led Karzai’s government to warn Pakistan that any further cross-border shelling could significantly harm relations between the two uneasy neighbours.

Pakistan denied the claim and called it “incorrect”.

“Pakistani troops only respond to and engage militants from where they are attacked/fired upon,” said a senior military official in Islamabad.

Afghanistan and Pakistan typically blame each other for violence by Taliban militants plaguing both sides of their porous border.

Nato’s military force in Afghanistan also condemned the cross-border shelling from Pakistan after Kabul issued its warning.

The International Security Assistance Force “condemns the indirect fire attacks,” ISAF said in a statement.

“We continue to work with the Afghan ministry of defence, and the Pakistan government to ensure an end of these attacks.”

Nato has some 130,000 US-led troops in Afghanistan helping Karzai’s government fight Taliban insurgents.

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Reader Comments (26)

  • A J Khan
    Aug 4, 2012 - 5:17PM

    Why didn,t we remove Rahman Malik and Ahmed Mukhtar for their total failure to maintain internal peace and external security.


  • babloo
    Aug 4, 2012 - 5:27PM

    denial and lie,… favorite keywords…..


  • Khan of Jandul
    Aug 4, 2012 - 5:40PM

    The coming months will be not pleasant for the Pak military in the tribal areas close to the Durand Line. The hostility in Afghan mode could clearly be judged from the unceremonious exit of the Afghan defence and interior ministers. Now there will be tit-for-tat response from the Afghan Army in respond to Pakistani shelling.Recommend

  • The Great Afghanistan
    Aug 4, 2012 - 5:51PM

    Long Long Live Afghanistan.


  • Asif
    Aug 4, 2012 - 6:38PM

    What’s the point though? There’s no such thing as “sovereignty” in Afghanistan.


  • ammar
    Aug 4, 2012 - 7:10PM

    next time militants come from afghan side pakistan should fire a missile on them.


  • pl
    Aug 4, 2012 - 7:52PM

    long live the people of afghanistan in peace and prosperity.


  • Someone
    Aug 4, 2012 - 7:59PM

    @Khan of Jandul: Sure, be our guest. Just make sure you’re all ready and prepared for what would come after that, it won’t be nice. Not that Afghanistan is much developed, but such steps will surely push it beyond the stone ages!


  • Sherzai
    Aug 4, 2012 - 8:02PM

    @Khan of Jandul: We don’t need you to worry about anti-Pak hostility, first learn to deal with what happens in your own house and keep that in order instead of venturing elsewhere. Afghanistan is a backyard country of NATO, I wonder where your nationalism goes when you Afghans get reminded of that.


  • pir subhan
    Aug 4, 2012 - 8:29PM

    Pakistan has had no soevereignity in its entire history. the ‘brave’ fauj was left shameful when OBL was carried away from amongst them when they were sleeping.
    pak can’t do anything against usa or india so they have found a weak arm to twist. but believe me this weak arm if angered is capable of destroying whoever maltreats them and disrespect its standing.
    Hopefully before that time arrives the poor country which is called pakistan will realise that where will they beg again when the run out of these blind missiles. Afghan spy agency will send the TTP back on them and they will come with vengeance and this time they will strike punjab.Recommend

  • Afghanistan
    Aug 4, 2012 - 8:31PM

    If afghan parliament dismiss two ministers over pakistan shelling, why pakistan’s parliament could not sack kayani and rehman malik over drones attacks from US.


  • Aug 4, 2012 - 8:43PM

    it is good move by afghan parliament and they have taken this in national interest. I think after OBL was captured from the heart of pak army, it should the deep weakens of the pak army and India and Afghanistan has also realised the weakness within the pak army. Elements such as the TTP have safe heavens in Afghanistan which is a fair assesment from pak side, but how about the BLA? Is pakistan army able to defeat them, it doesn’t look like it. I think pakistan is in deep trouble and theu owe this to themselves and not any other country. Pakistan as a country should realise that they can’t afford to have a hostile western front and otherwise they will be sandwiched in between.


  • peter
    Aug 4, 2012 - 9:45PM

    Well, there seems to be a trade off in the making. Its not a very good omen for terrorists hiding in Afghanistan and attacking Pakistan at the behest of vested interests. I think Pakistanis have been wise enough and are ready to trade for Best National interests. i wonder how would those elements so jubilant over instability in Pakistan will digest this table turning move of Pakistan” Pakistan DG ISI and CIA chief Have agreed to Give decisive blows to Enemies of both Countries.”


  • Abid Khan
    Aug 4, 2012 - 9:49PM

    What a game. Pak Army is being made to fight TTP inside Pakistan and from Afghanistan. The are being used as mercenaries by forces opposed to Pakistan. The BLA is set against Pak Army there. Thus the whole game seems to weaken Pak Army so that foreign forces could dictate their terms.
    If we have a smart strategy we would make peace with forces fighting within the country.


  • Hassan
    Aug 4, 2012 - 10:10PM

    Afghans can first stop the cross border drone attacks that are being operated from their country. Then ask others to stop cross border attacks.


  • Mamoon Lodhi
    Aug 4, 2012 - 10:11PM

    Dear patriot Afghans, have you ever thought of sacking even a single minister in the last 12 years when NATO routinely bomb your villages and kill your women and children brutely !!!


  • Lutrey
    Aug 4, 2012 - 10:23PM

    Its funny that back in the day their parliament was silent over land invasion by the USSR.


  • Aug 4, 2012 - 10:55PM

    @Mamoon and Lutrey

    are you guys feeling the heat, when our mercenaries were killing afghans and stiring ethnic violence across afghanistan we were all either kept in lies by the pak army, but one thing and that is for sure that afghans have realised and they are not going to be fooled again. Afghans citizen are killed by NATO but how about pakistani citizen. are they not killed in sectarian violence, the disappearence of missing ppl in balochistan is this not conducted by ISI and on average how many pakistani are not killed in target killings in karachi who is there to take responsibility for that. Pakistan needs to stop the fight with itself and should live peacefully with itself, this is something that afghanistan has realised which is good for them but this message is not going well in pakistan.


  • Fawad
    Aug 4, 2012 - 10:58PM

    The cross border incursion was an excuse; Both these ministers were very weak; in fact the interior minister was a former warlord ; so i think the parliment has done the best thing. I hope we get more professional pple in those posts.


  • Mirza
    Aug 4, 2012 - 11:21PM

    @A J Khan: Our parliament is not powerful enough to sack any general let alone two of them. The Afghan generals failed the nation and they are fired for not doing the job. Like Bangladesh, even Afghanistan has the possibility and potential to become democratic country, perhaps that is biggest fear of our deep state. If the two civilians you mentioned were real powerful ministers then they should have been fired especially if they lose the support of NA and senate.


  • Peace On Earth
    Aug 5, 2012 - 1:23AM

    If it isn’t blatantly obvious to Pakistanis the true purpose of the Pakistan government in Afghanistan, then please read this:

    The Pakistani government has for decades distracted the public by trumping up the imaginary threat of an Indian invasion. Why else would the Pakistani government in the 1990s support the Taliban?

    Afghans know what Pakistan has done to its people and they are tried of Pakistan attempting to create a proxy state in Afghanistan that is loyal to Pakistan. Afghans would much rather ally themselves with India as India has donated money and helped in the rebuilding efforts while Pakistan has done nothing but stand around with their pants on the floor.

    The sooner Pakistanis understand that the real enemy is NOT India (who has never initiated a war, only Pakistan has started wars with India), the better.

    The Pakistani government creates diversions to get the public’s mind off of the real problems which are extremism, poverty, disease, economic crises, and many more. Stop believing that the West and India are your enemies, they are not!


  • Khyber
    Aug 5, 2012 - 2:43AM

    Make sure Pak army fire the right missiles coz the
    Ones made by AQ khan has very low credibility as
    he does not know the basics of physics ( supporting water kit idea )
    Otherwise I will be very worried about the poor guys
    firing them.


  • Aug 5, 2012 - 3:43AM

    @Mirza, I totally agree with you and infact a democratic afghanistan is going to be reality soon where all afghans citizen will live peacefully with each other, the afghan constitution will be based on islamic and afghan tradition which do not contradicts islam. Pakistan as a state will have to accept this, if they don’t then I think the afghans will start the loy(big) afghanistan movement once again and an open invitation will put for the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan to join them. But I think the Baloch will want to have their own country, which i I think also not bad from afghan perspective as they will get more land and also they will sign a treaty of friendship with the people of balochistan.


  • Maria
    Aug 5, 2012 - 9:06AM

    @Khan of Jandul: This is nothing but an act of drama on the part of the Afghani parliament which never owns up to their own problems but looks for scapegoats. I would much rather the NATO and ISAF forces make a big wall or fence across the Pakistan / Afghanistan border to prevent the incursion of criminals from Afghanistan into Pakistan.


  • Khan of Jandul
    Aug 5, 2012 - 11:35AM

    Maria! No fencing and mining of the border could take place as people on both sides of the border belong to one racial group and shares common blood, history and culture. No external power either Pakistan or any one else could keep this nation of warriors seperated for long.


  • Khalid
    Aug 5, 2012 - 8:40PM

    Act of scapegoats? well, I dont think so. Afghans are sick and tired of pakistan’s lies.The criminals that have been supported and nurtured by pakistan how about them when they cross over the border and kill innocent ppl. Wake up to reality and come out of your pakistani mind set. Afghans in the last 11 years have built capabilities in all fields. There is a convergent of policies in afghanistan by west, russia, china and india. All these powers want to see a stable afghanistan and i don’t think that pakistan is in bed with them. Infact pakistan has other things in mind. The post 2014 policy of all these powers will be to keep and maintain the taliban in pakistan. This will in turn weaken pakistan internally and international community will ask USA to act, which they will do.


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