Ismail Khan Impeachment Expected Monday

News - Afghanistan

Parliament is expected to impeach the Minister of Energy and Water Mohammad Ismail Khan on Monday after more than 50 lawmakers voted in favour of his removal, the Administrative Office said Saturday.

Khan has become unpopular with the lawmakers after publically calling last month for the former mujahedeen figures to take up arms and join the private army of the Jihadi Council he leads.

The Administrative Office said that 55 parliamentarians have signed in favour of impeaching Khan and in their written reasons for doing so, the main one precisely being his private milita plan.

"Fifty-five MPs sent their signatures to the Administrative Office. The subject was discussed in a meeting... and it was specified that [Parliament will] impeach him on Monday," Deputy Secretary Mohammad Farhad Azimi said.

Other reasons cited were a lack of development plans for electricity to some parts of country, slow process in construction and reconstruction of hyrdo-electric dams and the budget expenditure of the ministry.

Some parliamentarians said that the lower house has the legal right to impeach government ministers but feared government meddling.

"Some of the influential people and ministers threaten representatives by phone call to take back their signatures and give up the decision," Kabul parliamentarian Nazifa Zakee said.

"The House of Representatives has the right to impeach some ineffective ministers but the government improperly interferes in the House," Kunar parliamentarian Wazhma Safee said.

Others said the reasons for the impeachment were incorrect.

"The reasons for Ismail Khan's impeachment by the House are meaningless – every minister has the right to have some meetings with the Mujahedeen," Ghour parliamentarian Sima Joinda said.

Khan has said that his reasons for forming the militia outside of the national security forces is to help secure the country where Nato has failed.

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