The Meeting of the Council of Ministers

The Meeting of the Council of Ministers was held on Monday, March 26, 2018 under the chairmanship of the Chief Executive, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah at the Sepidar Palace.

In his introductory speech, the Chief Executive congratulated the Afghan people on New Solar Year 1397 and expressed hope that The New Year will be better.

Then, Dr. Abdullah considered holding Tashkent International Conference important and said he hoped this conference, following the meeting of Kabul Process help realize the wishes of the Afghan people and ultimately contribute to peace and stability in the country.

The Tashkent Peace Conference will be held on Monday and Tuesday.

"There are no doubts about obscenity of suicide attacks in the religion of Islam and in the international laws, but unfortunately, this sinister phenomenon has increased in our region," the Chief Executive said, referring to security incidents in the recent days.

Dr. Abdullah congratulated the New Educational Year to the students and teachers, adding that 1397 was named "The Year of Education" due to the importance of education and its position.

The Chief Executive said that all of us should feel responsibility for development and progress of education, as the growth and progress of the country is dependent on education.

Dr. Abdullah added that new schools would be built in New Year and capacity building of the teachers and growth of the private schools would be paid attention to.

The Chief Executive expressed his satisfaction with putting an end to the problem of Balkh, saying that Ata Mohammad Noor provided a lot of services during his tenure in Balkh. Dr. Abdullah also wished success to Muhammad Ishaq Rahgozar, the new governor of Balkh.

The Chief Executive congratulated the Cricket team on their winning the World Cup, adding that our cricket team made its way to the World Cup for the second time which is an honor for them.

According to the agenda of the meeting, security officials presented a detailed report on security situation of the country.

Lt. Gen. Tariq Shah Bahrami, National Defense Minister announced launching operations by our security forces and international partners in some parts of the country, saying that as a result of these operations, 362 enemies have been killed and 92 have been arrested.

The Minister of National Defense spoke about security forces’ plans in the capital and said responsibility for ensuring security of Kabul gates has been taken from the army and the structure of Kabul garrison was also completed.

The National Defense Minister announced improvement of the security situation in Farah, Jawzjan, Faryab and Uruzgan provinces, adding that special measures have been taken to suppress terrorists in these provinces.

Then, the Interior Minister Wais Ahmad Barmak spoke about bringing reform in police staff, saying the Afghan National Police (ANP) have passed the transition period and from now on will focus on its main task, which is enforcement of law and combating criminal offenses.

After listening the officials' report, the Chief Executive said transfer of police responsibility to the Afghan National Army must be carried out with caution and be given priority to people’s information during the operations and before that.

The Chief Executive thanked the Ministers of National Defense, Interior Affairs and the head of National Security for their tireless efforts. The Chief Executive also stressed on cooperation of people with the security forces.

Ustad Mohammad Mohaqiq, Second Deputy to the Chief Executive spoke on frustration of terrorist attack on Nabi Akram Mosque in Herat province, saying that support plan from mosques has been very effective.

Also, Engineer Mohammad Khan, First Deputy to the Chief Executive spoke about the security situation in the southern provinces and called for air raids on enemy positions in some districts of Ghazni and Zabul. The First Deputy to the Chief Executive stressed on equipping and funding the ANP in provinces.

Then, Mohammad Khalid Payanda, Deputy Finance Minister reported on the consumption of budget from 1st of Jadi until 4th of Hamal 1397 solar year.

According to the agenda of the Council of Ministers, Minister of Commerce and Industry presented a one-year report of the Executive Committee on Private Sector Development.

The Executive Committee for Private Sector Development within the framework of the Council of Ministers is focusing on the 11 reform priority on private sector presented at London Conference (2014), as well as the 10 business indicators presented at the Brussels Conference in December 2016.

The Chief Executive said that the Executive Committee for Private Sector Development was one of the effective and influential committees and had regular work meetings.

He added that the impact of the work of the private sector development committee is evident in private satisfaction.

According to the agenda, Acting Minister of Mines and Petroleum provided a detailed report on performances of the Ministry.

Ms. Narges Nahan, saying that effective reforms have taken place in the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum, added that as a result of these changes, international sponsors, especially the World Bank and the United States are pledged to pay tens of millions of dollars in mining sector. The Acting Minister of Mines and Petroleum said that international donations would be used for capacity building and policy-making.

The Chief Executive, after listening to the report of Mines and Petroleum Ministry, said that the transformation in the Afghan economy would require investment and recovery of mining sector. Dr. Abdullah said that Afghanistan’s mining sector was neglected in the past, but now good steps have been taken and we hope to see practical and effective measures in the future.

Then, Sayyed Hussain Alami Balkhi, Minister of Refugees and Returnees reported on the performances of the Ministry.

The Minister for Refugees and Returnees said that extensive changes have been taken place on capacity building and transparency in the work of the Ministry based on statistics.

The Ministry of Refugees and Returnees, out of a total of AFN 600 million, spent 96 percent of its regular budget and 83 percent of its development budget during the last year.

Mr. Alemi Balkhi also spoke about addressing demands of the Afghan refugees’ in Iran, Pakistan and European countries.

Mr. Alemi Balkhi said last year, 850,000 Afghan refugees were registered in Pakistan and would receive ID refugee cards. In addition, 900,000 Afghan refugees’ cards have been extended in Iran.

The Minister of Refugees and Returnees said that 789 Afghan migrants were deported from European countries during the previous year.

Then, Dr. Abdullah said that at the beginning of the National Unity Government, the Ministry of Refugees and Returnees was a forgotten and secluded ministry, but it gradually fixed its position.

The Chief Executive thanked the Minister of Refugees and Returnees for his efforts and work, saying that the effective and clear performance of the ministry made it possible today to get a vision to the future.