Masoom Stanikzai elected as next Afghan spymaster and defence minister

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Kabul, June 20 (IANS) The Afghan Wolesi Jirga — or the lower house of parliament — on Monday approved Mohammad Masoom Stanikzai as National Directorate of Security (NDS) chief.

Stanikzai was introduced as President Ashraf Ghani’s choice for spymaster along with the post of defence minister-designate to the Wolesi Jirga for the trust vote on June 8.

After Stanikzai outlined his programmes to the house, of the 224 lawmakers present, 161 voted in his favour. He has been serving as acting defence minister for the past one year, a TOLONews report said.

In June 2015, President Ghani introduced Stanikzai as defence minister-designate to the lower house, but then he failed to win the seat. He was nominated as acting NDS chief in April this year.

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