President Ashraf Ghani on Wednesday announced the transition of 13,500 Afghan Public Protection Force (PPF) personnel to the Ministry of Defense (MoD), saying the move aims to enhance coordination between the security forces in their military campaign against insurgents on the battlefields.
Ghani announced the move during a special ceremony that was attended by high-ranking government officials and security leaders.
Referring to the recent spike in fatalities among Afghan security forces in Farah province, Ghani said one of the reasons that has led to the increased death toll among security forces was the lack of coordination between the different security branches and the absence of a good command and control center.
He said that the last year has been a tough year for Afghans in terms of security but that Afghan security forces made sure insurgents were not able to take control of strategic locations.
Addressing guests at the ceremony, Ghani said that the merging of the PPF does not indicate any weakness on the part of the ministry of interior.
“With this transition, the importance of the ministry of interior has doubled, but not decreased; what is the reason for that? The problem was that the ministry of interior, which has the responsibility of implementing the law, has been assigned to the battlefield,” said Ghani.
“Whenever I hear about the martyrdom of one of our security force members, my heart is broken,” said Ghani.
But critics said the move was politically motivated.
“Some irresponsible decisions have caused the country to move towards insecurity, war and injustice,” said political analyst Fazel Rahman Orya.
Last November, the defense ministry said the PPF and Afghan Border Police will no longer fall under the Ministry of Interior but will instead be merged into the Afghan National Army (ANA) in order to secure areas that have been retaken by the army following military operations.