The defense ministry said on Saturday that preliminary findings by the investigation team into the assault of Nizamuddin Qaisari's bodyguards, about 12 days ago, shows that Commandos from the Afghan Special Forces Unit in Faryab were not involved in the incident.
According to the defense ministry, the footage that has gone viral on social media of the reported assault clearly shows no Commandos were present.
Defense ministry spokesman Mohammad Radmanish said there is no truth in allegations that the commandos were involved but that the ministry is investigating the incident.
Qaisari, police chief of Qaisar district in Faryab, was arrested earlier this month after being summoned to a meeting at the 209 Shaheen Military Corps in Faryab province. He was reportedly detained, along with about 20 of his bodyguards, after allegedly threatening and insulting government officials.
Reports at the time emerged that some of his bodyguards had also been badly assaulted. Qaisari was however immediately flown to Kabul where he is still being held.
“You see in the footage and pictures that there are no commandos involved. But I want to tell you that a team has been appointed to search for every detail about these pictures and video,” Radmanish said.
The pictures and video, which went viral on Facebook, showed the bound men, lying on the ground, being beaten by security forces. The troops involved appear to be wearing Afghan National Army (ANA) uniforms. It is believed the men being assaulted could be Qaisari’s bodyguards.
Meanwhile in a video conference on Saturday, President Ashraf Ghani addressed security and local officials in Faryab and asked the relevant departments to investigate the incident, thePresidential Palace said in a statement.
According to the statement, the president and officials also discussed the security situation in the province. Officials said the situation was “good” and that they have taken steps to improve it. Officials said they have also kept the protestors in the province calm.
Meanwhile, Kandahar police chief Gen. Abdul Raziq said in a statement on Saturday that the assault on Qaisari’s bodyguards needs to the properly investigated.
“The footage was published on social media as breaking news, and shows the men who are not members of Daesh, Taliban or other insurgent groups, but who are being shot and kicked in such a brutal way. They (men) are our soldiers of yesterday or today who bravely defended the country and the treatment they have been subjected to will weaken the morale of other soldiers,” read the statement.
Kandahar provincial council also discussed the issue in their Saturday meeting.
“We had an election and then a decision was made which divided (the power) 50-50 (between Ghani and Abdullah). They both own 50 percent of government, but no one consults the nation on issues,” Nematullah Shirdili, a member of the council said.
Members of parliament also touched on the issue of Qaisari and the assault of his bodyguards on Saturday and warned that there could be negative consequences.
“The army and commandos’ job is to stand against those who work against the government and create insecurity,” MP Mohammad Yusuf Saber said.
Qaisari was arrested about 12 days ago over claims that he had insulted security officials. Reports meanwhile indicate that about 20 of Qaisari’s bodyguards were also arrested. However, seven were released on Friday.