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Government Should Shield Afghan Defense & Security Institutions Against Political Interference

By Mohammed Gul SAHIBBZADA

Afghan defense and security institutions and their affiliate organizations are the main pillars of the State of Afghanistan and are guardians of the people, constitution, national riches and national interest of the country. At this turbulent time, Afghan defense and security organizations are positioned in the frontlines to engage with and defeat a global terrorist network and an entrenched insurgency, both of which pose dire threats to Afghanistan in particular and the world in general. It is also worth mentioning that these terrorist groups are supported by neighboring countries’ intelligence agencies in pursuit of their so-called ‘national interest’. Though Afghan defense and security institutions had trouble to come into existence during the reign of President Hamid Karzai (2002 – 2014), with the formation of National Unity Government (NUG, Sept.2014), headed by President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Doctor Abdullah Abdullah, efforts have been made to remove corrupt officials from defense and security institutions and improve skills and management prowess of the officials of these important national institutions. Considerable improvement has been effected in the ranks of armed forces of Afghanistan, but efforts to destabilize these important national institutions are underway in different shapes.

In an apparent reaction to police’s efforts to maintain law and order and supremacy of constitution, some powerful members of Afghanistan’s parliament have embarked on unruly activities – including convening parliament session at 1:00am (mid-night) just to gang up against a young, senior official of the Ministry of Interior – Mr. Khushal Sadat – and ask for his resignation! As if Afghanistan was under attack from alien forces, they convened parliamentary session at mid-night just to show to the President and people of Afghanistan who these members of parliaments are united and coordinated when it comes to protect their personal interests, i.e. to demand resignation of a senior official at the Ministry of Interior! This episode has triggered serious reaction from among the people of all strata of Afghan society in support of the security officials and against ‘corrupt’ parliament members who use the house to meet their personal interests – not that of Nation’s. The whole drama started when a uniform police at a check-post on Jalalabad road stopped the vehicle of a member of parliament, who was driving black tainted-windows, armored vehicles and was carrying armed guards with unregistered guns.   

Since the fall of Doctor Najeebullah’s Government at the hands of foreign trained, hostile armed jihadi organizations in 1992, who were formed to apparently defeat and topple the so-called USSR installed regime in Kabul, but in reality their mission was to destroy Afghanistan’s defense and security institutions by means of intrinsic war among these jihadi groups to pave the way for invasion of Afghanistan by Pakistan – and the emergence of yet another fanatic, so called religious group – Taliban – which was also formed with the help of Pakistan Inter-Service-Intelligence (ISI) in 1992-3 and the aim was to implement and complement the invasion plan by Pakistan. These misadventures, which had tacit support of Western countries out of sheer oblivion and under a smoke screen created by Pakistani intelligence agencies to so-called defeat the ex-USSR in Afghanistan –  Afghan national institutions including schools, universities, agriculture, defense / security and economic agencies of the country were literally obliterated. It took so much Afghan blood and US / EU countries’ gold to re-establish Afghanistan’s security and defense institutions after the US and international community stepped in to Afghanistan to evict Taliban government (1995 – 2001) in the aftermath of the fateful 9/11 attack on US soil in 2001 by Taliban harbored Al-Qaeda organization. Afghan defense and security institutions were non-existent and the few thousands armed men who had replaced them, were already politically influenced and worked to protect interests of individuals and groups – not the country.     

It should be priority number one for the upcoming government to stop political interference in the ranks of defense and security institutions by unruly, powerful persons who enjoy privileges – either in the house of parliament or in powerful government positions. The upcoming government of Afghanistan should manifest these steps in top priority of their performance to make it a law to prevent political or any other kinds of interference in the ranks and rows of our defense and security organizations. It is a fortunate and positive sign that people of Afghanistan are standing with our defense and security personnel. One can easily extrapolate conclusion from the trend of social media that went against members of parliaments, and ‘shamed’ them with logic, reason and warning, and an outcry of love and support for Afghan defense and security institutions – especially support for senior, young official – General Khushhal Sadat.

The writer is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Kainaat Group of Companies (KGC)

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