In response to an outcry on Sunday over perceived discrimination in the MoI, the acting minister claimed the leaked document had been poorly worded.
VIDEO: Barmak Rejects Claims Of Discrimination In Ministry
Acting Minister of Interior Wais Ahmad Barmak on Sunday night rejected allegations of discrimination within the ministry following the emergence of a letter calling for names of candidate anti-riot unit members of various ethnicities ‘except Tajiks’.
In a live interview on TOLOnews’ 10pm news on Sunday, Barmak said the letter had been the result of negligence and said the general who wrote the letter and who made the mistake was a low-ranking manager.
He said that this new unit needs to be comprised of all ethnicities and that what it should have conveyed was that Tajiks were already employed and that the call was being sent out for names of candidates from other ethnic groups.
He said the unit would comprise of 500 police force members in total but that the wording of the letter had been incorrect.
He said as acting-minister of interior, his aim is to reform the ministry and that he is committed to ensuring all citizens have equal rights and have an equal opportunity to work for the ministry.
“I completely assure my people that the ministry of interior under our leadership will move in the right and professional path,” he said.
This interview was in response to reports of a leaked document on Sunday that was sent out by the commander of the Afghan Public Protection Forces (APPF) that carried a message of discrimination.
In the letter, the APPF commander allegedly called on officials to send him a list of names of at least 500 anti-riot officers who were of Hazara, Pashtun, Uzbek and other ethnicities - except Tajiks.
But, the ministry immediately responded and said there had been typing errors in the letter – an explanation backed up by Barmak later.
The letter stated that: “On the basis of an order of the president, a 500 member anti-riot unit has been established under the Kabul 101 commandant; hereby it is directed that within 24 hours the identities of officers belonging to Hazara, Uzbek, Pashtun etc. - except Tajik ethnicity - must be sent.”
“At the moment, the majority of those serving in the APPF are of Tajik ethnicity; there were some editorial mistakes in the letter; it means that we have sufficient forces from Tajik ethnicity and we need to recruit other ethnicities as well,” said MoI spokesman Najib Danish on Sunday.