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$1B U.S. aid cut would hit Afghan forces

AT News

KABUL: Some members of parliament believe that a reduction in the US assistance would directly impact the Afghan security and defense forces.

Mohammad Aref Rahmani, deputy head of parliament’s internal security committee, called on political leaders to resolve their insider differences to prevent the US aid reduction.

“If this budget really decreases, we will be affected in the fighting season that begins after Taliban’s opium is harvested because they will start a widespread war,” Rahmani said Monday. “Therefore, this is a very serious strike to Afghanistan’s national security. We hope that American and Afghan officials resolve their problems and reach a national consensus.”

He said that security and defense forces were already suffering from lack of budget, calling on the politicians not to enhance the problem.

The Western media have cited two US congressmen and former US officials that the aid mostly reduce from the budget of Afghan security and defense forces.

A US congressman who was speaking on condition of anonymity, has said that one billion of 2.4 billion dollars allocated for the payments’ accommodation and arming of Afghan security forces would decrease.

He has rejected the decision as against the US interests.

A report prepared by the US congress in March, reads that the congress had approved a donation of 4.86 billion dollars for Afghan security forces from 2002 to 2009.

Another US officials also speaking on condition of anonymity, said that one billion dollar would reduce from the donation.

Abrarullah Morad, another lawmaker, said the aid reduction would not only affect security, but it would also hurt people’s lives and economy.

“The people are very poor. If one billion dollar reduces from the budget, tomorrow our soldiers will not have food, their vehicles will not have fuel. So, this is not only a security problem, but hurts people’s life and the government system.”

The government sources were not immediately available to comment.

The decision of aid reduction came after the US secretary of state Mike Pompeo failed to broker a political agreement between President Ghani and his electoral contender Abdullah who insists to get a senior position in the government after he lost last year’s election.

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