“ANP has no space for extremist and radical ideologies,” says Sediq Sediqi
AT-KABUL: Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies (AISS) released a survey report about trends of radicalization among the ranks of the Afghan National Police (ANP) in which over 68 percent respondents said that corruption exists among the ranks of police force and its military and political leadership.
Making the distinction between political deviance, religious extremism, and social intolerance, 1,498 uniformed rank and file personnel, 151 commissioned officers, and eight uniformed religious leaders from among the ANP are surveyed on their views toward: the political system in Afghanistan, anti-government elements including the Taliban, democracy in light of Islamic values, and women and human rights. The study was conducted in 11 provinces of Afghanistan.
Over 72 percent of the respondents said that armed resistance by the people is justified against those found to be corrupt, despite the presence and jurisdiction of security and defense personnel.
Around 11 percent of service members joined the security force with the aim of securing Afghanistan against Taliban influence, nearly 20 percent joined primarily for economic incentives. As a consequence, many maintain a hired hand mentality rather than national consciousness. A majority of green-on-blue incidents were of a personal and intimate nature rather than collective action, suggesting that individual grievances, personal mental states, and ideological beliefs were the underlying motivations.
Abdul Ahad Mohammadi, a principal researcher, said that 25 percent of the green-on-blue attacks were organized by the Taliban insurgents.
He said that 83 percent respondents believed that armed resistance is justified against those who criticize Islam, while 76 percent of those from Paktia believing that the Taliban are good religious leaders, suggesting that religious ideological tension exists between the center and those in Paktia.
“More than 10 percent from both Paktia and Paktika believe that suicide attacks are a justified form of armed resistance. Relative to other provinces, those from Kunduz find more so that democracy is not compatible with Islam. These same respondents are also in favor of establishing a caliphate, suggesting that many from Kunduz believe in religious leadership without democracy,” the survey said.
Abdul Ahad Mohammadi said that over 80 percent of respondents in Kandahar province approve the physically reprimanding women for disobeying Islamic law or disrespecting Afghan traditions and culture.
Senior Adviser of AISS, Abdul Hadi Khalid, said that despite extremism is used more as tool in fighting against Afghan government, radicalism and terrorism was unacceptable in Afghan society.
He said that the figures show that ANP has no room for radical and extremist ideologies.
He added that main reason for joining ANP is only the feeling of struggle against the Taliban insurgents and defending the country. However, he pointed out that nepotism and corruption among political leaders is the major concern for the ANP, even though they termed the fight against corrupt officials as legal.
Spokesman for Ministry of Interior, Sediq Sediqi, said in the conference that the survey showed significant facts about motivation of ANP in fighting against the Taliban militants and defending the country.
He said that it a great pleasure for the government that ANP has no space for extremist and radical ideologies. The spokesman added that Afghan police know that they are fighting against extremism which has roots in foreign lands.
“Morale of the police force is high. Our policemen are fighting against extremism because they know that extremists are killing innocent people of Afghanistan,” he said.
AISS asked the government to accelerate its fight against corruption because corruption weakens the capability of Afghan security forces.
“Should address concerns over corruption within the ranks of the ANP and among its military and political leadership as corruption is seen as justification for circumventing the authority of security and defense personnel and taking up arms against the leadership. Initiatives aimed at ending nepotism and other patronage links and the institution of oversight programs are first steps toward encouraging trust and reducing the likelihood of insurrection among the ranks of the ANP,” AISS recommended in the survey report.
It also suggested that the interior ministry should revisit recruit and follow-on curriculum, specifically addressing the development of national consciousness and meeting misunderstandings over the compatibility of international norms and values and Afghan society and culture. Initiatives should standardize training programs which indoctrinate personnel on democratic values, government authority, and the role of its security and defense force to uphold the law and maintain a monopoly on the legitimate use of force.
The AISS recommended that the interior ministry should institute rotation tours of rank-and-file personnel and/or officers as a means of severing ties with local communities and the potential for ongoing ideological competition. Failure to divorce security personnel from ties with their local communities encourages tensions and competition between local ideologies, including Taliban and other influences, and that of the central democratic government.
The institute also urged the government to end nepotism.