Afghanistan loses its top four security officials

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Afghanistan’s ministers of defence and interior, as well as another security chief, quit on Saturday, government sources said, following the resignation of the president’s national security adviser earlier in the day.

“We have received four resignations by two ministers and two
senior security officials,” an official in President Ashraf Ghani’s office told Reuters.

President Ghani rejected on Sunday resignations tendered by three of the senior security officials, the government said, but later acknowledged the resignation of top four security officials.

Government spokesperson Haroon Chakansuri said in a statement
Ghani had asked the three officials to continue with their duties and “work towards the betterment of the security situation”.

Government sources said the new resignations were from Defence Minister Tariq Shah Bahrami and Interior Minister Wais Barmak, as well as Masoom Stanekzai, the head of the National Directorate of Security. They followed a decision by National Security Advisor Hanif Atmar to quit.

Officials working directly with the two ministers and Stanekzai were not immediately available to comment. But two senior interior ministry officials said the country’s top security officials cited differences with the government over policy amid the deteriorating security situation as the main reason for resigning.

Heavy fighting between Taliban militants and Afghan forces
across the country this year, as well as repeated suicide attacks in Kabul and other major cities, have underlined the dire security situation facing Afghanistan.

With parliamentary elections due on October 20, authorities had
been bracing for more attacks. But even so, the scale of the violence has shocked government officials, who are facing bitter criticism over their handling of the war.

The Express Tribune

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