Afghan Intelligence Chief Resigns Over ‘Policy Differences’ with President Ghani

56696406b6d85AFGHANISTAN: President Ashraf Ghani on Thursday accepted the resignation of National Directorate of Security (NDS) chief Rahmatullah Nabil – who quit suddenly after leading the spy agency for five years.

According to a statement issued by the Presidential Palace, an emergency meeting will be held to appoint an acting chief.

In his resignation letter to Ghani, Nabil highlighted some key issues presently facing the nation with the main focus being on the increase in insurgency this past year. He blamed certain countries, particularly Pakistan, for being involved in the ongoing crisis.

“As you are aware, over the past 14 years, our country experienced a number of ups and downs which can be evaluated as a turning point in our history,” Nabil said in his resignation letter.

“However, the fall of the fundamentalist regime of the Taliban and the establishment of the democratic system led to major changes in our society and helped to institutionalize moderate values and democratic principles,” Nabil said.

In his letter Nabil noted that despite Pakistan’s continued interference into the nation’s internal affairs, there were a lot of major gains made by the war-torn country. However, he emphasized that a firm commitment by Afghan politicians and government officials was needed to preserve these achievements made after the collapse of the Taliban.

“Despite clear interventions of a number of hostile states, particularly Pakistan in Afghanistan’s internal affairs that led to an upsurge in security threats, we succeeded in making major achievements, but the preservation of these gains requires government’s hard work,” Nabil wrote in the letter.

In terms of capacity building within the NDS, and the effectiveness of the agency in thwarting threats against the nation, Nabil said that during his tenure as head of NDS, he diverted major attention to bring about reforms in the key spy agency.
“I am extremely proud and honored that I got the opportunity to serve my nation by working in various fields over the past one and half decades. During my five-year tenure as head of the National Directorate of Security, I focused much of my time to make the relevant body a national body and boost its capacity – as your Eminence [Ghani] wrote in a visitor’s book at one NDS department that over the past three years NDS has been able to move from the 20th century into the 21st century,” the resignation letter read.

Referring to issues of politics within the NDS structure, Nabil said that during his tenure he never tolerated political infiltration within the national body and used all his energy to safeguard it from ethnic division.

“At the same time, I also struggled to keep the NDS away from politics and ethnic orientation especially when it came to issues of national interest – mainly two presidential elections, parliamentary elections, provincial council elections and convening the Loya Jirga,” Nabil added.

Although Nabil appears grateful to Ghani for having had the confidence in him to run the agency, he hinted in his letter that there had been differences between the two on a number of issues.

“Unfortunately over recent months, the working environment became a little bit difficult for me as I did not share views on a number of policies, this also undermined the environment of trust in my working area,” he said.

“Limited pressure mounted on me by your Eminence [Ghani] and persistent demands to tender my resignation likely prevented me from continuing my job,” Nabi said, referring to apparent pressure by Ghani for him to quit, in recent months.

According to Nabil, this pressure finally made him decide to resign.

In addition, Nabil thanked Afghan lawmakers in parliament for having cast a vote of confidence in his favor when he was nominated as head of the agency.

“With the establishment of the National Unity Government, you [Ghani] renewed your confidence in me and introduced me as an independent candidate for the post of chief of the NDS and I am grateful for that, particularly the patriotic representatives of the people of Afghanistan in the parliament who approved my nomination which helped me to continue my sincere efforts and get visible outcomes from it,” Nabil stated.

In conclusion, he called on government to come up with solid security measures to safeguard him and his family.

“Since I served in several key security organizations over the past ten years, I hope government comes up with all necessary security measures to ensure the safety of my family and myself,” Nabil concluded.

Meanwhile, the Presidential Palace issued a statement late Thursday announcing that Ghani has accepted Nabil’s resignation.

“Mr. Nabil has officially sent his resignation to the president for approval today. Although the president was not considering changes in the leadership of the security institution at this time, as the country is at war, but the resignation was approved to honor the demand of Nabil,” the statement read.

An emergency meeting will be held to appoint a caretaker from within the NDS, the statement said.

Nabil’s resignation comes a day after Ghani concluded his Pakistan visit where he attended the Heart of Asia conference. -TOLONEWS


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