National Security Council Meeting Discusses Situation in Wardak and Logar Provinces

February 24, 2013 - The meeting of the National Security Council chaired by President Hamid Karzai on Sunday discussed as per agenda the security situation in the provinces of Logar and Maidan Wardak, the presence of the international forces beyond 2014 and the issue of land seizures in Afghanistan.

The meeting began by hearing briefings by the Minister of Interior, Director General for the Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG), chairman of the Transition Commission, Chief of Army Staff and the respective governors on the security situation as well as on the findings by a delegation that had been assigned to investigate the causes of insecurity in the two provinces.

After a thorough discussion, it became clear that armed individuals named as US special force stationed in Wardak province engage in harassing, annoying, torturing and even murdering innocent people. A recent example in the province is an incident in which nine people were disappeared in an operation by this suspicious force and in a separate incident a student was taken away at night from his home, whose tortured body with throat cut was found two days later under a bridge. However, Americans reject having conducted any such operation and any involvement of their special force.

The meeting strongly noted that such actions have caused local public resentment and hatred.

In view of the above situation, the meeting made the following decisions:

1.    The Ministry of Defense was assigned to make sure all US special forces are out of the province within two weeks;

2.    All the Afghan national security forces are duty bound to protect the life and property of people in Maidan Wardak province by effectively stopping and bringing to justice any groups that enter peoples’ homes in the name of special force and who engage in annoying, harassing and murdering innocent people; and

3.    Effective from February 24, 2013 onward, the ISAF has to stop all its special force operations in Maidan Wardak province;

The Meeting also called on the local people to cooperate with the governor and security forces in identifying such groups and inform local authorities. The Wardak governor was also tasked to form community councils to engage people in preventing such destructive actions by irresponsible armed groups.

The meeting then heard and endorsed a security operational plan presented by Logar governor for the province.

Also on agenda for the meeting was the issue of land seizure in various provinces in Afghanistan.  The meeting directed the Ministry of Interior, the Attorney General Office as well as the Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG) to develop an orderly plan to handle the issue of the land seizure and restitute the lands illegally grabbed by powerful individuals by misuse of authority and official position.
The meeting also held an in-depth discussion on the military presence some countries are seeking beyond 2014 in Afghanistan.

The meeting decided that any military presence any country may be seeking to retain under the international coalition after 2014 may be allowed only after Afghan government’s formal agreement and discretion, to be achieved bilaterally.
The meeting underlined that the number, location, scope and the nature of operations of such troops, if agreed, would be determined through direct negotiations with Afghan government.