Gen. Mohammad Ajmal Fayiz was appointed as acting police chief of the northern Balkh province, replacing Gen. Abdul Raqib Mubariz, who was appointed to the post in mid-March.
His appointment comes a month after Mubariz was appointed to the post following a day of unrest in Mazar-e-Sharif city. The appointment was opposed by Atta Mohammad Noor, former Balkh governor and CEO of Jamiat-e-Islami party.
Gen. Nematullah Haidari, the Recruitment Officer of the Ministry of Interior, said the decision was made as there was a need for Mubariz’s presence in another post.
He said President Ghani’s decree on Fayiz’s appointment will be issued within the next two days.
Fayiz has a bachelor’s degree from an England university and he has a Ph.D. in the military field from Turkey.
He has served in intelligence and investigative departments of the Ministry of Interior, commander of Special Forces’ 333 Unit and as commander of Special Forces’ 222 Unit.
What happened in Balkh in March?
Gen. Abdul Raqib Mubariz took office as the police chief of the northern Balkh province despite opposition by former Balkh governor Atta Mohammad Noor back in March this year.
Forces loyal to Atta Mohammad Noor resisted for almost the entire day against the appointment of the new police chief but Gen. Mubariz took office while surrounded by commando forces who were deployed to take the situation under control.
Addressing reporters after taking the office, Mubariz said he was appointed to the post on the order of President Ghani and that anyone who will adobe a hostile approach towards the system and government, will be retaliated with full force.
Meanwhile, Atta Mohammad Noor, the Chief Executive of Jamiat-e-Islami Afghanistan who also served as Balkh governor has said that the new appointment violates the agreement he had reached with President Ashraf Ghani last year.
Noor called on the people in the province not to go to their works and shut their businesses in protest to the controversial appointment.
But residents in Mazar-e-Sharif have expressed concerns over violence.
Reports, meanwhile, indicate that special units of Afghan National Police (ANP) were deployed in key areas of the province to avoid a possible security threat on eve of the appointment of the new commander.
Local officials in Balkh so far have not given further details about the issue.
According to Munir Ahmad Farhad, a spokesman to Balkh governor, the discussion is underway between tribal elders, MPs, members of Balkh provincial council and government representative to resolve the issue.
Some residents have said that security situation deteriorated in the province in recent months and that if the reshuffling lead to stability they will welcome such a move.
This comes at a time that the 209 Shaheen Army Corps in a statement said that the army is on red alert to ensure security and safety of the people’s life and property.