MPs satisfied with chief of national directorate of security explanation

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: Mohammad Masum Stanikzai, chief of National Directorate of Security (NDS) on Wednesday provided satisfactory explanation about the security situation of the country to Wolesi Jirga, while some lawmakers harshly criticized him.

The NDS chief has been blamed for failing to prevent suicide attacks, curtail intelligence forces’ casualties, politicization of the intelligence agency, ignoring calls from the lower house and other reasons.

Wolesi Jirga summoned Mohammad Masum Stanikzai to brief lawmakers about the ongoing security situation in the country on Wednesday.

Some of lawmakers slammed the decision of summoning the NDS chief while some other MPs agreed with the decision.

Wolesi Jirga speaker, Humayon Humayon, who supported the summon, asked Stanikzai to provide explanation about attack on Continental Hotel, the government’s investigation on the regard and killing of NDS officers.

Humayon asked the NDS chief to also provide information about the reason that many (irrelevant) responsibilities such as dealing with the difference of Atta Mohammad Noor with the government, meeting the first vice-president, Abdur Rashid Dostum and some other issues were handled by him.

Hamayon said that NDS was intelligence and detective organ and it should not interfere in policymaking issues.

In response, the NDS chief said that they were responsible for preparing all raw materials of policy based on national interests.

About investigations on hotel attack, Stanikzai said eight of nine accused in the attack were arrested and the remaining one would be also detained soon.

Investigation into the hotel attack has completed and the convicts would be handed over to judiciary organs, he added.

Bashir Ahmad Tayanj, another lawmaker, said that the signs of NDS interference in political issues were obvious and the organ was more active in defeating the government’s political opposition rather than being active in defeating the ‘enemy’.

However, Stanikzai said that solving issues such as the difference between former Balkh governor and the government and talking with Dostum, were efforts for stabilization of the country.

About the killing of intelligence officers by militants, he said “We are chasing the enemy and the enemy chasing us, there is no doubt that we suffered casualties but we definitely or will definitely take the enemy to justice,”

Mohammad Naim Lalai Hamidzai, a lawmaker from Kandahar province, asked the NDS chief to expose the spies of foreign countries active in the government. However, Stanikzai did not respond.

Abdul Qayum Sajjadi, another member of the Wolesi Jirga, also asked the NDS chief to provide explanation about recent deadly suicide attacks in the country and the fall of Khwaja Omari district of Ghazni province to Taliban. He criticized the NDS for not sharing the result of their investigations with the public.

However, Stanikzai said, “Repetation of attacks have different factors, Afghanistan has many enemies, but the NDS has investigated the organizers of all attacks, many suspects of attacks have already arrested,”

Mirwais Yasini, who was against the summon of NDS chief, said, “The statements used in Wednesday’s agenda of the house were bizarre, illegal, harsh, childish and illiterately, because words used here were provocative and meaningless,”

Kamal Ausuli, another lawmaker, said that votes could not be used for the disqualification of NDS chief, Da Afghanistan Bank, Attorney General and Wolesi Jirga had no the authority to summon such officials.

Following a marathon discussion, the lawmakers voted on whether or not to bring a no-confidence motion against the NDS chief.

However, some of lawmakers left the house without using their vote.

Wolesi Jirga speaker, Abdur Rauf Ibrahimi said that 117 votes against the NDS chief were needed for his disqualification but 44 votes were used in opposition and 19 votes in favor of the spymaster. Mohammad Masum Stanikzai stayed in his office.