Officials, Lawmakers Accused Of Protecting Balkh Smugglers

Balkh province’s police chief General Sayed Kamal Sadat on Monday accused a number of high ranking government officials and representatives in the Wolesi Jirga (Lower House of Parliament) of trying to protect the identity of drug smugglers and preventing their arrest – specifically in Balkh province.

Sadat, who did not name the officials or lawmakers, said that a number of them interfere in his duties. He said however that he will not stand for this and won’t hesitate to identify and arrest drug traffickers in the line of duty.

He said that this year alone, 38 drug trafficking incidents have been recorded and 52 drug smugglers have been detained. He said they get handed over to the judiciary institutions for justice to be carried out.

“As far as we see our friends intentionally or unintentionally use their influence but we have responded to them. Even today one of our provincial council members, present at a meeting, witnessed when someone called from parliament but I told him to leave me to my duty,” Sadat said.

“If you want legal action from me, we are ready to cooperate but if it is illegal [that you want] let another person come and work instead of me. I will leave,” Sadat added.

Meanwhile a number of Balkh provincial council members have praised security forces for their efforts in arresting drug smugglers but they have also expressed regret that often influential people in government are the ones violating the law.

“It is only powerful figures within the government in Balkh province that violate the law,” said Abdul Khaliq a provincial council member.

“Such a situation is not just a concern for Balkh but it is a concern for the whole of Afghanistan,” said Afzal Hadid another provincial council member.

These provincial council members said that if the situation continues and the law is not implemented in the country the gap between the people and the government will increase and such situations can have only negative consequences.

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