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Delay in operation led to Kunduz fall, spymaster tells MPs

KABUL: The National Directorate of Security (NDS) — the Afghan spy service — on Wednesday said the suspension of a planned operation led to the fall of Kunduz City to the Taliban.

Three days back, the insurgents attacked the provincial capital from several directions and took control of the entire city after a 14-hour battle with security forces.

On Wednesday, the Wolesi Jirga summoned NDS chief Rahmatullah and other top security bosses to explain factors behind the collapse of the strategic city to lawmakers.

Interior Minister Noor-ul-Haq Ulumi, acting defense minister Masoom Stanikzai, Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG) head Ghulam Jilani Popal and National Security Advisor Mohammad Hanif Atmar were summoned.

But only Nabil, Ulumi and Popal attended turned up to brief the legislators. Speaker Abdur Rauf Ibrahimi said National Security Advisor Mohammad Hanif Atmar was currently abroad and could not attend the session.

Nabil apologised to public representatives for the city’s fall to Taliban. “There is no way to absolve ourselves of blame,” he remarked, saying the loss of the provincial capital happened only in 72 hours.

He recalled the NDS had previously shared its concern about Kunduz security with the lower house. “We had clear information that Dasht-i-Archi and Chahar Dara districts would become centers of terrorism …”

Nabil added that NDS early this year planned to launch a high-level operation that was approved by the president in the province.

For bringing reforms in order to solve Kunduz problems, the president and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) brought changes in different departments of the provincial administration, he said.

Nabil explained 700 commandos had been deployed to the Kunduz airport for launching an operation in the first month of the ongoing solar year. But they remained for 25 days at the airport. “Unfortunately, this operation was suspended for various reasons.”

To discuss reasons for suspending the operation, Nabil asked the Wolesi Jirga speaker for an in-camera. “I’m proud of Afghan forces defending Kunduz residents and making good achievements during their operation for retaking the control of the city.” (PAN)

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