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Jihadi leader Ismael Khan called to become Herat governor

AT News

KABUL: An emergency meeting held by government officials and politicians in the residence of parliament speaker in Kabul, called on government to replace Saboor Qaneh, provincial governor for Herat with the veteran jihadi leader Ismael Khan.

Khan has mobilized people to take up arms and stand against Taliban’s dramatic advance who have all 16 districts including the important district of Gozara where the civil airport is located.

The militant group’s fighters are surrounding provincial capital where security forces backed by Khan’s militia men are resisting.

Habib Rahman Pedram, Herat representative in the parliament, wrote Sunday on Facebook that the meeting was held in Mir Rahman Rahmani’s residence in Kabul and discussed the crucial situation in Herat.

He said that Abdullah Abdullah, Rahman Rahmani, Younus Qanooni, some lawmakers and Hamdullah Moheb President Ghani’s national security adviser attended the meeting.

“I clearly explained what is happening in Herat to the politicians and particularly to national security adviser,” Pedram said.

He added that the meeting asked the government to appoint Khan as provincial governor and head of a military council in Herat.

The military council will be a new body if agreed by President Ghani who heads all armed forces as commander in chief. If the body agreed, it would give local powerful people more power and authority in their respective areas, something like autonomy.

The meeting also suggested people close to Khan to be appointed as senior military officers in the province. It called for more arms and ammunition for what he called “public mobilization front”, adding that more bombers were asked for the provincial air force.

Ghani’s office did not immediately comment in reaction to the meeting.

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