|Surge in ‘insider attacks’: Ex-Afghan defence minister faults NATO forces|
01 October 2012
ISLAMABAD: Afghanistan’s former defence minister Shahnawaz Tanai has faulted foreign troops for the recent surge in ‘green-on-blue’ attacks in his country, while accusing them of showing disregard for religious and cultural sensitivities of the Afghan people.
According to an official tally, 53 foreign soldiers have been killed in 35 ‘insider attacks’ this year. ‘Insider attacks’ are those where Afghan security personnel turn their weapons on foreign troops.
“Nato forces usually don’t show respect for the faith and culture of the Afghan people, which causes resentment, frustration and anger among Afghan soldiers,” Shahnawaz Tanai told The Express Tribune in an exclusive interview.
“Such attacks will continue to haunt the US-led Nato forces if they do not respect local sensitivities,” added Tanai, who had served as defence minister in the Communist regime of Dr Najibullah in the 1980s.
In the latest ‘green-on-blue’ attack, an International Security and Assistance Force (Isaf) member and one civilian employee of the force were killed in an exchange of fire in Wardak province on Saturday. Three Afghan National Army soldiers were also reportedly killed, an Isaf statement said.
“What was initially reported to have been a suspected ‘insider attack’ is now understood to possibly have involved insurgent fire,” it said.
The former Afghan defence minister also listed the intrinsic hatred of the Afghan people for occupying forces as a possible reason for these attacks.
Sometime mistakes, immoral acts and human errors by foreign troops also cause embarrassment among Afghan soldiers, according to Tanai.
“The joint command system of the foreign troops and Afghan National Army is rigged with flaws which could also be blamed for these attacks,” he added. “This upsurge in attacks has raised concern among Nato countries ahead of the 2014 withdrawal.”
The former minister said the Taliban’s role in insider attacks could not be ruled out as they have infiltrated the Afghan security forces. “This is a dangerous sign since Afghan forces will take over security responsibility before 2014,” he added.
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