Afghan parliament dismisses interior minister

Legislators accuse Mujtaba Patang of corruption and incompetence in battle against Taliban.

    Patang, a former deputy interior minister and a career police officer, was sacked over worsening security [EPA]
    Patang, a former deputy interior minister and a career police officer, was sacked over worsening security [EPA]

    Afghanistan's parliament has voted to dismiss Interior Minister Mujtaba Patang, one of the country's most powerful security chiefs, less than a year after he took office.

    Patang lost a vote of confidence by 136 to 60 in the lower house of parliament on Monday over accusations of corruption and incompetence in the battle against Taliban fighters.

    "He's lost the vote of confidence and I on behalf of the Wolesi Jirga [parliament's lower house] request the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to introduce another individual to the parliament for a vote of
    confidence," said speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi.

    Patang, a former deputy interior minister and a career police officer, was dismissed a month after the Afghan government formally took responsibility for nationwide security from US-led NATO troops at a handover ceremony.

    It was unclear whether President Hamid Karzai would accept the vote as his administration tries to strengthen stability ahead of presidential elections and withdrawal of NATO troops next year.

    Karzai has previously opted to keep ministers in their roles in acting capacity after similar votes.

    Parliament dismissed Patang's predecessor Bismillah Mohammadi in August 2012, allegedly for failing to stop a Taliban resurgence and cross-border shelling from Pakistan.

    But legislators approved Mohammadi's nomination a month later as defence minister.

     

    SOURCE: Reuters


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