Hours after the new police chief for Balkh assumed his office, acting ministers of Defense and Interior Affairs said the situation in the province is “completely under control” and that reshuffling is a normal procedure in government institutions.
“Currently, the situation in Mazar-e-Sharif city is completely normal. All security forces, particularly the national police personnel have meetings with other security sectors. Their conclusion is that the situation will return to normal in the next few hours. I want to assure the faithful people there that the situation is normal there,” Acting Minister of Interior Maj. Gen. Massoud Andarabi told TOLOnews.
“Reposting and reshuffling is a principle. We have appointed a new police chief for Balkh who has a good experience in the view of current situation that we face conflicts in various districts. So, the new appointment is only aimed at improving the affairs and it is a normal routine,” said Andarabi.
He said that every commander in the ranks of the Afghan National Police (ANP) works hard after assuming the post, but the Interior Ministry, however, has its own assessment of the issue which is only aimed at improving the affairs on the ground.
“The assessment which the leadership of the Ministry of Interior had from various commanders and the former police chief of Balkh, we come to realize that there is a need for a new police chief to take the charge so that he will protect the security and improve the situation,” added Andarabi.
Acting Defense Minister Assadullah Khalid, meanwhile, said that reposting and reshuffling is a normal procedure and the decision by the ministry of interior about Balkh police chief was also a normal procedure.
“I want to assure our countrymen in Mazar-e-Sharif that they should not be worried about anything. The new police chief has been appointed, army soldiers are also there on the request of the governor. They are providing security to key places. I have been in contact with the governor including Ustad Atta,” added Khalid.
Some Afghan politicians, including presidential candidate Mohammad Haneef Atmar, called the police chief appointment a political move.
Khalid said he had a telephonic conversation with Mr. Atmar about this matter.
“We don’t treat anyone politically and our countrymen know this. We hope that the politicians do not see everything from a political perspective,” he said.
Khalid said government is holding consultations while making such decisions.