Kabul Conference, Security Speculations

President Karzai had a meeting with cabinet members regarding the preparations for Kabul Conference the other day. Former Finance Minister and staunch political opponent of the President, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai is responsible for management and preparations of the conference. It’s said representatives from about 80 countries are expected to attend the conference. The ordinary Afghans are totally out of the scene what decisions are being taken for their future. They don’t even know what the conference is about. The Government will ask the donor countries and other supporters for between $14-15billion for projects that will be proposed in the conference by the Ministry of Finance. These projects are mostly related to security, economy, agriculture, development, human resources and good governance. Most of the proposals have been designed in a meeting of the cabinet members last month in Bamyan. The US Ambassador Karl Eikenberry was also in Bamyan during that cabinet meeting.

Officials are claiming of tight security measures before the conference. Its also apparent from the increased police check posts all around and in Kabul city. Our police really need a better training on how to check vehicles and people. I have gone through several check posts during these days. They just see and order to move ahead. Some other clumsy police personnel stop the vehicles on squares in a way that it makes long traffic jams and mess.

Interior Ministry has assured of all out preparations saying no untoward incidents will happen. But, same assurance was given for Peace Jirga. We saw how President Karzai left his speech incomplete and went off the Jirga after Taliban opened fire of rockets. Probably insurgents have plans to make the Kabul Conference, which will be attended by foreign delegations, a failure. They might even increase suicide bombings in Kabul just before the conference. It’s an old tactic of the insurgents. The failure of security for Peace Jirga showed the lapses of our security apparatus. Interior Minister Hanif Atmar and Intelligence Chief Amrullah Saleh resigned mentioning the security failure for Peace Jirga as one of the reasons for resignation. In absence of the two most effective men in the Administration of President Karzai, things might not be as good as expected. Right now the most important security apparatus, police and intelligence, lack an effective leadership. The new Intelligence Chief is Major General Rehmatullah Nabil, who was in charge of security at the Presidential Palace. He is not a capable man for National Directorate of Security.

Though the reasons for Atmar and Saleh’s resignation was not the attack on Peace Jirga, but if a single rocket is fired on Kabul Conference this time, President himself will need to resign.

The international community should also demand some performance and assurance in order to donate between $14-15billion. With such a weak security situation and fragile political atmosphere, things are not very optimistic.


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