Afghan Parliament dismisses 2 ministers

Aug. 4, 2012 at 3:03 PM
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KABUL, Afghanistan, Aug. 4 (UPI) -- The Afghan Parliament Saturday fired the defense and interior ministers for their failure to respond to cross-border shelling from Pakistan.

The vote in the House of Representatives was overwhelming, Khaama Press reported. Afghan Interior Minister Bismillah Mohammad received 90 votes supporting him and 126 against, while only 72 legislators supported Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak and 146 opposed him.

Wardak told the lawmakers the Kabul government has not yet determined if the attacks are coming from the Pakistani military as retaliation for NATO drone strikes in Pakistan or the Taliban, and that negotiations with Pakistan over the shelling are continuing.

He suggested a military response at this point would suggest the Afghan government is no better than the Taliban.

Mohammad said examination of the ammunition used suggests the attacks are coming from both the military and the Taliban.

The ousted ministers were also questioned about charges of corruption in their departments.

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