Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, July 7th, 2020

Patang spurns vote, promises legal challenge

Patang spurns vote, promises legal challenge

KABUL - Calling his dismissal a conspiracy, Interior Minister Lt. Gen. Mujtaba Patang on Monday vowed to raise a legal challenge to the Wolesi Jirga’s move.

While bringing a no-confidence motion against him, lawmakers accused the minister of committing massive corruption and showing incompetence in dealing with security threats.

The decision to table the no-trust vote came two days ago when Patang did not appear and sent his deputy to brief the assembly on the security situation in the country.

But the minister spurned the parliamentary decision as unjust, calling it a joint conspiracy by drug smugglers, private security firms and some political circles.

During his tenure, Gen. Patang said he received from legislators as many as 15,000 requests, some of them illegal. More than 1530 policemen were serving illegally as MPs security guards, he claimed.

Some lawmakers were in illegal possession of dozens of defence forces’ vehicles, hundreds of weapons and arms licences, he told a news conference in Kabul.

The parliamentarians, in addition to having bullet-proof vehicles, had received permits from the ministry for more such vehicles, he alleged. The licences were meant for sale to others.

Lawmakers also got orders for transferring 93 drug traffickers from one prison to another and took license for 232 taxis from the ministry, he said.

“Do you have any taxi company, or your constituents are only drivers? If you ask taxi drives whether they got licenses freely or after paying bribes? If your constituents included only taxi drivers, traders, drug traffickers, the people of Afghanistan should know this,” he asked.

There were 347 cases of exchanging license plates among lawmakers, he said, adding the ministry transferred 430 individuals, including district chiefs, police chiefs, passport department, counternarcotics, crime branch and logistic officials as a result of recommendations by MPs.

He claimed nearly 124 relatives and supporters of MPs had been sent abroad on scholarships. These were reasons for his him being summoned, he said, accusing nearly 72 of legislators of land grab incidents and having links with the Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence.

He showed reporters a CD saying there was evidence of drug smugglers having props in the parliament. While rejecting the assembly’s decision, he would refer his dismissal to President Karzai and the top court. (Pajhwok)