Minister of Interior Noorulhaq Olomi spoke at a ceremony commemorating the anniversary of Afghanistan’s independence held in Kabul on Tuesday and spoke to members of the Afghan National Police (ANP) about the nature of the terrorist threat they face in their work.
Before awarding medals and letters of praise to a number of members of the ANP for valor and achievement, Minister Olomi discussed the nation’s security issues, which he characterized as the product of intrusive, destabilizing strategies maintained by other nations in the region.
“The exploitation of terrorists by some regional countries is still a serious concern,” Olomi said. “Terrorist groups – including the Taliban and Daesh – are still a serious threat for the security and sovereignty of Afghanistan.”
According to the Interior Minister, the revelation that Mullah Omar died in Pakistan proved that the Taliban have and continue to work in concert with Islamabad. “With the death of Mullah Omar, they [the Taliban] must know that they were the instrument of strangers and without any cause have killed innocent people,” he said.
Despite sustained attempts by President Ashraf Ghani and the Kabul government to turn the page and start a new chapter of cooperation with Pakistan over the past year, relations between Afghanistan and its neighbor have unraveled over the past few weeks.
A spate of deadly terrorist attacks in the capital and elsewhere has followed an abrupt halt in what was shaping out to be a promising start to peace talks between the Taliban and Afghan government officials last month. The surge in suicide bombings that have left scores of Afghan civilians dead have prompted leaders from across the social and political spectrum to condemn the Taliban and their backers in the Pakistani government, particularly the Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI).
For their part, Minister Olomi and his deputy, Ayoub Salangi, assured at the ceremony on Tuesday that Afghanistan’s security forces are well trained and prepared to suppress any groups looking to harm Afghans and destabilize the country.
“Our message to the Taliban’s supporters in the region is that through terrorist groups they cannot reach their goals in Afghanistan and they will go to the grave dreaming that,” Deputy Minister Salangi said.
One of the police officers honored at the ceremony on Tuesday was a female officer named Zuhra Dawlatzai. “As a female soldier, I can assure people that, in any situation, alongside our police brothers, I will take part in securing the country,” she told the crowd gathered.
Minister Olomi also used the event as an opportunity to assure that investigations are underway regarding the recent suicide attack against the Kabul police academy. He said that if any negligence on the part of Interior Minister officials is discovered to have taken place, then they will be punished.