Lawmakers in Afghanistan’s Wolesi Jirga (Lower House of Parliament) are expected to summon the chief of the National Directorate of Security (NDS) Mohammad Masoom Stanekzai on Saturday to answer to questions around the deteriorating security situation.
On Wednesday, parliament summoned the Afghan security leaders including the minister of defense, Tariq Shah Bahrami, minister of interior, Wais Ahmad Barmak, and Stanekzai, to answer questions around the spike in battles, rising threats, selling of military equipment to insurgents, the leaking of classified information and other issues.
But Stanekzai failed to appear before the lawmakers and instead sent his deputy to answer the MPs questions. However, MPs were unhappy about this and some have called for him to be removed.
“Most of the areas which have been taken by Daesh and the Taliban is because of mismanagement by Masoom Stanekzai, who is the head of national directorate of security. Eighty percent of Stanekzai’s work is politicized and he has sidelined his intelligence gathering duties,” said an MP from Kandahar, Lalai Hamidzai.
“Whenever lawmakers want to use their legal authorities, please do not insult them (by not attending),” said MP Farhad Azimi.
This comes after lawmakers on Monday summoned the deputy head of the High Peace Council (HPC) and the head of the HPC secretariat to answer questions around the nature of peace talks with the Taliban. However, neither of the officials attended the session.
Angry MPs blasted the officials and questioned the house’s position.
“Why has the Afghan parliament been pushed aside where the peace process is concerned. Mr Speaker, I believe that peace and the war is being exploited by certain people,” said one MP Fawzia Kofi.
“Sometimes we invite guests in line with legal procedures but they are insulted; therefore some government officials are not interested in responding positively to our calls,” said parliament speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi.
This comes after lawmakers criticized Stanekzai last month for the spike in insecurity and the rise in attacks in the country.
Stanekzai recently rejected claims of failure on his part to properly manage the security agency.