Afghan President Removes Intelligence Chief

Posted August 29th, 2012 at 11:00 am (UTC-5)
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Afghan President Hamid Karzai has removed the head of the country's intelligence agency, in the latest shake-up to his Cabinet.

Mr. Karzai on Wednesday thanked Rahmatullah Nabil, the director general of the National Security Directorate, for his two-year service. He said Nabil would soon take over as an ambassador to a foreign country.

The president's office said Nabil's new appointment is consistent with Mr. Karzai's decision that intelligence chiefs cannot serve more than two years.

Some Afghan lawmakers criticized the decision to dismiss Nabil.

Farkhunda Zahra Nadari, a member of the lower house of parliament from Kabul province, said Wednesday “[Nadil] was not removed due to Afghanistan's internal politics or ethnicity issues; I am worried that Afghanistan's policies may be influenced by outside our country's borders.” She did not specifically name any foreign influences.

The removal of Afghanistan's intelligence chief comes just weeks after parliament voted to remove Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak and Interior Minister Bismillah Khan Mohammadi for failing to bring security to the country and protect top officials.

Afghan officials have told reporters that President Karzai is expected to nominate Mohammadi as the new defense minister and Deputy Interior Minister Mushtaba Patang as the new interior minister. Asadullah Khalid, the current minister of tribal and border affairs, is expected to be nominated as the new head of NDS.