Afghans took to social media in their hundreds on Saturday night in reaction to a sudden decision by President Ashraf Ghani to call for the resignation of his entire security cabinet.
On Saturday Ghani called for Defense Minister Tariq Shah Bahrami; Interior Minister Wais Ahmad Barmak; head of National Directorate of Security Masoom Stanikzai and National Security Adviser Mohammad Hanif Atmar to all step down.
Atmar has already tendered his letter of resignation and not long after Ghani announced his replacement – the current ambassador to Washington Hamdullah Mohib.
Details around whether the other three security chiefs have tendered their resignations have not however been released.
The public’s reaction to Ghani’s decision was mixed with some people welcoming the move, even stating it was long overdue, while others questioned who would take over these key posts.
Omar Samad, a political analyst, tweeted: “Political shakeup in Kabul. Part expected, part deeper than anticipated. How will it assure/improve security, political stability and overall prospects at this stage? Time for statesmanship, big-tent maturity/experience and visionary leadership. Need brainstorming and consensus building.”
One Facebook user, Ibrahim Hekmati said: “A right decision but the late one. Anyways, despite the time is limited but the important issue is who will replace them?”
Another Facebook user, Torialai Rahmani said: “If we don’t ignore the reality, security is bad all over the country and this decision by President Ghani is worth appreciation.”
Other members of the public meanwhile blasted the heads of these security agencies over their performance in the last years. They said security has deteriorated and security chiefs should be prosecuted.
“Resignation will not recover any pain of the people. There should be a law to ask the minister what they have done during their term,” said Naqibullah Rashidi on Facebook.
One Facebook user went as far as to say Ghani was losing his own allies.
“Great news, love it, this means that Ghani is losing his team and could have no chance in next election,” said Alborz Taheri.
“After Arg attack, something is cooking - Now President @ashrafghani is really concerned. This should have happened long time back. These incompetent ministers should have been replaced much earlier,” one user Tweeted.
“Everyone (is) sorry for him (Atmar). Shame on you what has he done? Just working with terrorists in Pakistan and US,” said Adam Hassani, a Facebook user.
Other members of the public meanwhile expressed their shock at the news.
“OMG what sad news. Bad day for Afghanistan,” said Aziz RH Rahmanzai, a Facebook user.
“Bad news for Afghanistan,” another user Arman Afg said.
“Shocking news” Sahil Khan said.
Others meanwhile believed that Atmar resigned in order to prepare to run in the next presidential elections.
“The reasons which Atmar has mentioned about his resignation show that it is crystal clear that there is something else behind the scene. One reason for his resignation is that he eyes running for presidential elections,” said a Facebook user.
“War, peace, stability and prosperity are fought and won through intelligence. And Hanif Atmar was and is a master of all,” Hazarbuznews Hazarbuz.