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Reshuffles in top Security Posts

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The newly appointed acting Interior Minister Omar Daudzai, former Afghan ambassador to Islamabad, officially took over the job form his predecessor on Monday. His appointment to the top security post was made by president Karzai only days after appointment of Rahmatullah Nabil as the acting chief of the National Directorate for Security (NDS). Mr. Daudzai, who is considered a close ally to President Karzai, replaced Ghulam Mujtaba Patang, who was disqualified by the lower house of the parliament in a no-confidence vote on account of mismanagement and incapability regarding security situation across the country. In the Monday ceremony, Daudzai vowed to focus on security situation in the country, the forthcoming election security and neutrality of Afghan police forces in the election process.

Previously, Daudzai was tipped as a potential candidate for president having backing of president Karzai. His appointment to the post is suggesting that he will not be running in the presidential elections, as he soon will go to the parliament for approval of the lawmakers in his new post. Along with Foreign Minister Zalmay Rassoul, Daudzai was among those who were considered the most probable figures to be tacitly backed by Karzai in the elections. Now, it seems that Rassoul is a very likely candidate backed by Karzai’s inner circle in the elections. However, still it is hard to predict president Karzai’s preferred choice and his backing to the candidate, since he has refrained from any move that could be meant as support to any possible candidate.

Regarding the security situation, the appointments of the two top security officials is coinciding with sharp violence across the country as the Taliban have mounted deadly attacks in Afghan cities in recent weeks, killing dozens of civilians and security forces. And since impeachment of the former Interior Minister by the parliament, the ministry has been administered without a minister, leaving the top security agency in a limbo of leadership at this time of crisis in the country. In the meantime, the head of the National Directorate for Security (NDS) also have been away in the US for treatment after he was seriously injured some months ago by a Taliban bomber. As the country is in the middle of an anti-insurgency war and in a hard time of Taliban summer fighting, any vacuum in leadership of the top security posts would have negative effects on security situation as well as conduct of the security agencies.

Appointing new faces for security posts is a right move to fill the vacuum and to improve security situation across the country. In recent weeks, the militant groups have been waging deadly campaign of violence mostly against innocent civilians that have left hundreds of people dead and injured. Hopefully, the new appointment may come at a right time to help improving the security situation across the country. Afghan security officials should act quickly to take actions for improvement of security across the country and protect the people in the face of deadly Taliban campaign of violence in far corners of Afghanistan.

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