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Disqualification of FM: Rabbani to continue work as President rejects Wolesi Jirga’s decision

By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: In a dramatic move which has created a serious constitutional challenge and questions authority of the parliament, President Ashraf Ghani has rejected the Wolesi Jirga’s decision regarding sacking of Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani.

Expressing grievances over decision of the Wolesi Jirga which disqualified three ministers including Salahuddin Rabbani, Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday confirmed that the foreign minister to continue work as the ministry would follow orders of the president.

“Ministry of Foreign Affairs will follow the orders of President who has not accepted the decision of the parliament on sacking of ministers, particularly the minister of foreign affairs Salahuddin Rabbani,” said the deputy foreign minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai.

Emphasizing on diplomatic skills and traits of the foreign minister, Khalil Karzai said the foreign ministry is a diplomatic body, but Rabbani was disqualified for something that has nothing to do with the position. “If the foreign minister was sacked over diplomatic inefficiency and management issues, the decision will be acceptable. However, the minister was sacked over development budget spending,” he said while terming the decision of the parliament as imbalance and unjustified.

The deputy minister said the foreign ministry has scored well in the diplomatic arena in the past two years.

Administrative Deputy of the ministry, Nasir Ahamd Andisha, claimed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has spent 73 percent of development budget this year.

He said that there were some indirect funded projects, in which the ministry’s authority was limited. “The ministry has shined well in generating revenues this year. The revenues show significant increase in the income of ministry,” he said.

Reaction of the foreign ministry came day after the Wolesi Jirga or Lower House of the Afghan parliament sacked three ministers over failure to spend the development budget this year.

With majority, the lawmakers sacked Ministers of Foreign Affairs Salahuddin Rabbani, Labor and Social Affairs Nasrin Oryakhil and Public Works Mahmoud Baligh for failure to spend budgetary allocations during the outgoing Afghan fiscal year.

Last week, the Wolesi Jirga made the decision to summon 19 ministers and scores of departmental heads to brief legislators regarding their failure in spending budgetary allocations. Lawmakers decided to disqualify those ministers, who cannot provide logical and convincing answers.

Sacking of the ministers has put the unity government in deep trouble as currently three ministries are already run by caretakers.

According to the constitution the president has the authority to appoint the sacked ministers as caretakers but cannot reject the Wolesi Jirga’s decision.

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