A number of MPs on Tuesday praised security forces – especially Sergeant Eisa Khan – for their quick and effective response to Monday’s attack on the Wolesi Jirga (Lower House of Parliament).
Monday’s attack saw at least seven insurgents attack Afghanistan’s parliament complex. The first insurgent, a suicide bomber, detonated a car bomb at the gate and the others tried to storm the building. However, security forces managed to keep them from entering. Khan personally killed six insurgents.
Five civilians were killed however and 31 were injured.
Despite damage to the parliament building following Monday’s explosion, MPs returned Tuesday to the national assembly for a special sitting to discuss Monday’s attack.
The sitting started off calmly as MPs praised the security forces’ efforts – especially that of Khan – and called for the soldiers directly involved in fending off the insurgents to be honored accordingly and be given medals of bravery and a monetary bonus.
One MP said: “The attack was very organized but thank God our security forces responded so well to the attackers.”
However, the session soon took an extraordinary turn when emotionally charged MPs started arguing amongst themselves while discussing the security situation in the country. At one stage tempers were quite raised and many MPs were on their feet shouting at each other.
Some were calling for officials to be summoned to Parliament to answer questions over how insurgents were able to attack the Wolesi Jirga while others criticized government over its recent meetings with Pakistani security and intelligence officials.
One MP Daoud Kalakani spoke out about President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah’s move to improve ties with Pakistan and said: “Pakistanis are killing our sons every day but we remain silent. Government officials should give us details about what they discussed at these recent meetings,” Kalakani said.
Almas Zahid, another MP said that Monday’s “attack was organized very well and they knew from which side to attack,” adding that “our security forces were committed to fighting off the attackers. But security officials should be asked how they attacked the House of the People.”
“Monday’s attack should be taken very seriously,” said MP Harif Rahmani adding that security officials need to answer questions over the incident.
A number of MPs also accused government officials of being behind the ongoing war in the northern parts of the country. They accused officials of plotting the insurgency claiming it was a “project” of theirs.
Monday’s attack took place at about 10.20 am just minutes before the second vice president Mohammad Sarwar Danish was to introduce the minister of defense nominee to MPs for a vote of confidence.
The car bomb rocked the national assembly and MPs and journalists had to be evacuated.
A standoff between security forces and insurgents lasted just under two hours but 28-year-old Khan, an Afghan National Army soldier from Laghman province, eventually took down all six insurgents. He said that there had been 20 troops stationed inside the heavily guarded entrance to Parliament when insurgents attacked.
According to him they had received intelligence a few days earlier that an attack was planned against them so precautionary measures had been put in place.