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30,000 Afghan Police Officers, on Front Line of War, Are Denied Pay

Mohammed Saber Sarwary, the head of finance and budget at the Afghan Interior Ministry, said the donors had cut off pay for 30,000 police officers since March. The number was confirmed by one other senior official.

“We have reached them time and again and asked them to give us access to the system to execute and process the salaries of 30,000 police who are fighting in the front lines, but they did not listen,” Mr. Sarwary said.

Donor countries put the money for the police salaries into a fund that is run by the United National Development Program. The salary freeze hit particularly hard, Mr. Sarwary said, because it is the month of Ramadan, which is followed by the festival of Eid al-Fitr.

The donors’ response to repeated pleas that they release the money?

“You know, there is a saying which goes, ‘He who feeds you can also command you,’” Mr. Sarwary said.

A spokesman for the American-led coalition directed requests for comment to the United Nations Development Program. Officials from that agency would not comment.

While the police in major cities have gone through biometric registration, reaching all of them in far away districts has been a difficult task.

Officials in Kunduz, Zabul, Oruzgan and Farah Provinces, where there has been intense fighting, say the registration teams go to provincial centers and expect police officers from other districts to come to them. The roads are often either blocked or heavily infiltrated by the Taliban.

Source: NYT > World

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