Afghan MPs accuse Army chief of settling scores with commanders

Findings by a parliamentary committee indicate that the newly appointed chief of army staff for Afghanistan, Gen. Wali Ahmadzai, has been focusing on rivalries with corps commanders instead of managing the fight against the Taliban, as per local media reports.

The army general was appointed to the post a month ago, replacing former chief of army staff Gen. Yasin Zia, as the Taliban was taking over as many as a dozen districts each day. He was expected to lead the fight against militants, focus on training and equipping Afghan forces and to implement major military plans.

The internal security committee of the Wolesi Jirga, the lower house of Parliament, said that Gen. Ahmadzai has fallen short of fulfilling his responsibilities and that during his time he has been focused on rivalries with members of the army corps instead of managing the war, reports said.

“We hoped that the appointment of the army chief would lead to some progress, but unfortunately, he is focused on rivalries against those who replaced him in (previous positions). This is not the time for rivalry,” said Khan Agha Rezaee, the head of Parliament’s internal security committee, reports said.

Sources said that Gen. Ahmadzai has not maintained effective relationships with army corps commanders who replaced him in his previous posts.

After taking charge, Ahamdzai vowed to fix the fragile security situation in the country.

“We accept that the situation has deteriorated,” Ahmadzai said last month. “We lost some territory but we continue discussions about our next plans and programmes.”

A military analyst said that rifts between the army chief and commanders of the army corps will cause the situation to further deteriorate.

“We will face defeat if we don’t have at least common views on the management of the war,” military analyst Jawed Kohistani said, as per the reports.

The Ministry of Defence, however, denied the findings.

“The army chief, in line with the prevailing laws of the country and the military principles, is working day and night for the better management of the war. There are no rivalry or rifts against anyone,” said Defence Ministry spokesman Rohullah Ahmadzai.