Afghan parliament dismisses interior minister

Afghanistan’s parliament voted on Monday to dismiss one of the country’s chief security ministers, impeaching Interior Minister Ghulam Mujtaba Patang in a potential blow to stability as NATO-led international forces speed up their withdrawal.

The fractious parliament, which last August voted to sack both the interior and defense ministers, said Patang, as head of the country’s 157,000-strong police force, had presided over worsening security, including along the highway from the capital, Kabul, to Kandahar, a crucial economic life line targeted by Taliban insurgents.

“Afghanistan’s Interior Minister, with 136 votes against him, is disqualified from the ministry and I ask the president of the Islamic republic of Afghanistan to announce another person for this position,” said Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi.

It was unclear whether President Hamid Karzai would accept the vote as his administration tries to strengthen stability ahead of presidential elections and a pullout of NATO troops next year.

Karzai has previously opted to keep ministers in their roles in acting capacity after similar votes.

Source: Reuters

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