Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah on Tuesday visited northern Kunduz province to meet with local leaders and assure residents that their mounting security and governance problems will soon be addressed.
During his speech, Abdullah acknowledged that the central government leadership had not fully gauged the extent to which security, rule of law and public services had deteriorated in Kunduz.
“I confess that I was unclear about the status of Kunduz, with its insecurity and lack of public services,” Abdullah said. “But I tell you here now that President Ghani and I are committed to serving you. I am telling you honestly that this situation is unacceptable for us,” he added.
While Abdullah praised the sacrifices made by members of the security forces, who have faced some of the fiercest fighting with militants in Kunduz in recent months, he also criticized provincial security leaders, saying that if the forces were better mobilized and led the right way, then the security situation in the province and in the country as a whole would improve.
“After this I will talk with defense and security officials and raise the issue in the security council, so that the shortages are addressed and the existing opportunities and capacities are utilized correctly,” Abdullah said.
In addition to pointing blame at the leadership of security forces in the province, Abdullah also suggested the problems currently faced by Kunduz are tied back to neglectful policies on the part of the previous government, led by former president Hamid Karzai.
“Part of the problems are from the past nine months, which we are responsible for, but the negligence of the pervious government – we are not responsible for that,” Abdullah said. “Commanders came here and honestly served the people and lost their lives in serving the people and the country, but these commanders were blamed in Kabul for committing a genocide in Kunduz,” Abdullah added.
This is the first visit Abdullah has made to Kunduz since becoming the Chief Executive Officer of the national unity government. Previously, he visited the province during the 2014 presidential election.