The Suspicious Man; five heavy accusations against NSA Hanif Atmar

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By Rahmatullah Ershad – Translated by Alizada

The president’s NSA Hanif Atmar has come to be eyed as a suspicious man and a seditious advisor. The accusations against him over the past three years are heavy and complicated. Popular individuals and influential political groups from almost every ethnic group have set accusations against him. People from the government as well as from outside the government have blamed him for cooperation with terrorist groups as well as orchestrating assassinations. Most recently, the Jamiat Party and street protestors have demanded his dismissal. This piece presents a review of five big accusations against him voiced by popular individuals and political groups.

#1: Atmar Creates IS: Zahir Qadir’s CD says

On November 23, 2015, Zahir Qadir, an MP from Nangarhar to the Afghan Parliament who then served as the first deputy of the lower house accused the government and NSA Atmar at a meeting in the house of carrying out IS creating project. After two-month absence from the house to fight Daesh, he announced to the parliament: “I have evidence that proves the government’s hand behind Daesh; the frontline commanders of Daesh live in Kabul and roam around in the ministries and embassies here; the advisor to the president has taken Afghanistan as a hostage.”

As he explained IS activities in Nangarhar province, he blamed the government for cooperating with Daesh and further asserted that NSA Atmar is directly involved in creating Daesh. “Daesh and the Taliban drive government vehicles but the locals have risen against the project; security forces protect them [the terrorists]; they [ANSFs] do not carry out operations against Daesh, nor do they allow the people to do so; the responsibility of the advisor to the president is to advise the president, not to carry out a destabilizing project in the country.”

These accusations, however, stirred reactions from both a number of MPs and security officials. Following these reactions, on November 30, once again reiterated that he has been specific in naming which individuals are involved in creating Daesh and what posts they hold. “I have evidence to back my allegations. If my safety and security is ensured, I will publish them. As you know, after these accusations, there was a suicide attach in Nangarhar that targeted my brother. If cannot prove these accusations with evidence, I will resign,” he said.

On December 2, he once again insisted on the accusations saying that he had evidence to back them. He refused to disclose the evidence fearing collapse of the government in case those were disclosed.

#2: NSA’s USD 200 thousand aid to IS in Paktika

NSA also received to other heavy accusations from Karim Matin, the now governor of Paktika, in early 2015.  He then said that he had evidence to prove that NSC has paid USD 200 thousand to Daesh families in Barmal district of Paktika province. Following this, the government appointed a delegation to probe into the case who reported the case as false. In May, Mr. Matin was dismissed from his post of governorship and was later appointed as the governor of Ghazni.

Before his dismissal, he had also said that suspicious men from across the Durand are allowed to enter this province by armored vehicles who then make it to other provinces. He further had said that these men who have high purchasing power and communicate with body language, cross Paktika with heavy military equipment and armor vehicles. He had also said to have reported the issue to NSC, without who direction he couldn’t take any measures, several times but hadn’t received any response.

#3: Organizing the ambush against Dostum

On his return from Ghormach district of Faryab province in May 2016, Gen. Dostum faced an armed ambush. No accurate report on casualties related to the incident were published through media. But reliable sources have said that several strong bodyguards who were so close to the Gen. were killed in the long and complicated ambush. Following this ambush, Gen. Dostum blamed a number of individuals in the government for the incident and several times slammed NSA indirectly. Also following this incident, he named Masoom Istanikzai, head of the NDS a Talib and talked of the ambush as a collusion between NSA and the terrorists.

General Dostum has also blamed the government officials for not granting him the permission to prevent fall of Kunduz for which he had several times requested for the government’s approval. It was the NSA who obstructed the general’s decision.

Most recently, after accusations of physical and sexual assault on Ahmad Ishchi, Mr. Dostum and the people close to him have asserted the case to be a conspiracy against him aimed at tarnishing his reputation following the failed ambush.

#4: Daesh is another name for NSC

Following the bloody terrorist attack on the protestors of the Enlightenment Movement on July 23 last year, the protestors made some accusations against the government and then, on December 15, Ahmad Behzad directly pointed at NSA (Atmar) and NDS (IStanikzai) in the lower house. At the meeting in the parliament, Mr. Behzad said that Daesh is just another name for the NSC.

He added: “Over the past several months we have repeatedly said that we have evidence to prove that the government, particularly high-ranking individuals in the NSC and NDS have a hand behind the Dehmazang attack. One of the attackers whose body was not destroyed in the attach has been identified to have been released from NDS prison just a few days before the attack. Why no legal entity is talking action against this? Why do the heads of the government become turn dead ears and blind eyes to the issue?”

In the meeting at the lower house he said that Daesh is just another name of the NSC and NDS. He added, “Evidence show that, before the wounded were taken away from the square, the body of the third attacker had been taken off the area. Why this crime is not taken seriously?”

He also added, “Find out those who, a few days before the attack, had released these terrorist form NDS prison, armed them with suicide vest and sent them to Dehmazang Square.”

#5: The Latest Accusation: I will disclose the terrorists inside the government

Following the terrorist attack in Wazir Akbar Khan on Wednesday, opening fire at the protestors on Friday, and the triple suicide attack at the burial proceedings of Salem Izadyaar in Badam Bagh, Jamiat’s acting chair Salahuddin Rabbani tweeted that they will soon disclose names of the terrorists inside the government and will announce their stance in this regard.

At a press conference on Monday, Mr. Rabbani called firing at the protestors as illegal, saying that the carnage tarnished the image of security forces in people’s mind. People will have the same image of the security forces in their minds as they do of the terrorists. He also announced at the conference that after investigations and debates, the leadership council of Jamiat has unanimously decided to demand dismissal of NSA Hanif Atmar. He also announced dismissal of other security officials as Jamiat’s demand.

Following today’s conference in Kabul, accusations against Atmar has taken further momentum and the demand for his dismissal has gained more popular support. Now that all ethnic groups complain Atmar’s moves, in one way or the other, Jamiat’s stance in support of the dismissal has turned it into a popular demand and a crucial issue.

This article was published in Dari in Etelaat Roz Daily

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