Govt To Assess NSC Structure: Hashemi

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The Afghan government on Sunday said an assessment of the structure of the National Security Council (NSC) will be considered in line with the security situation in the country.

This comes a day after the Kunduz fact-finding team released its findings on the fall of the city to the Taliban and pointed a finger at the NSC. They said there is no coordination or unity among the NSC members. The commission recommended a change in the structure of members.

Hashemi said however that this had not been part of the commission’s task to assess the NSC but government will consider their recommendations in line with the security situation in the country.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) said that following the release of the report, police in Kunduz have been directed to take necessary measures to maintain better security in the province.

The Kunduz fact-finding commission had been assigned by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to probe the fall of the city late September. The commission released its findings on Saturday. They said there had been no conspiracy over the fall of the city but that poor management had led to the crisis.

Hashemi said: “The president had given full authority to the delegation [task team] to investigate all aspects of the issue independently and include it in to the report. Although specifically this was not a part of their job but they did assess the National Security Council’s activities and they did offer their recommendations and we will consider those recommendations in line with the country’s security situation.”

Meanwhile, the MoI has reiterated that the Afghan security forces were still continuing their military campaigns against insurgents in various parts of Kunduz province.

“Operations are still going on in Kunduz in areas of Dasht-e-Archi and Qala Zal. Those areas are where insurgents have been operating and are keeping facilities, but we have almost destroyed these facilities,” MoI spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said.

The MoI has also vowed to take necessary steps to recover military equipment seized by Taliban fighters during the collapse of Kunduz.

In addition, a number of Afghan lawmakers also stressed the need for the implementation of the recommendations made by the Kunduz fact-finding commission.

“The report must not be politicized and nepotism must not come in to it. Justice must be served on all those who in any way were negligent or involved in the issue,” MP Fatima Aziz said.

On Saturday the Kunduz fact-finding commission released its report following a three week investigation into the incident. The commission found government had been negligent in the security situation in the run up to the crisis.

Commission chairman, former NDS chief, Amrullah Saleh said Kunduz war had been planned by an “army and an intelligence service” and that the Taliban had taken orders during the siege from Peshawar.

Saleh also stated that the commission found evidence of a “grey network” in Kunduz that was anti-Taliban but in favor of a weak government. He said this “network” was running a parallel government in Kunduz and that it had support from within the Kabul administration.

Pointing a finger at the NSC, he said the commission’s “first line of criticism is with the president’s office (National Security Council). We will not hide anything.”

He said the commission found that the government made a big mistake when Taliban took control of Chardara and Dasht-i-Archi districts. He said troops failed to carry out operations to retake these areas.

According to him, local police had been under Taliban pressure for three months ahead of the incident but had not been given any back up.

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