In 2016 money should be spent on equipment of the ANP, not on war

Kabul, January 2016. The long Afghan war has undermined the development and consumed recourses which should have been used for the progress of the country. As Colonel Hashmatullah Hakimyar, the Deputy of Criminal Technic Department within the Ministry of Interior (MoI) says: “With better security, all the money which is spent in the war, could be spent on buying more technical equipment for the Afghan National Police.”

In the biometrics and criminal technic units, Colonel Hashmatullah’s team handles of all the criminal incidents in Afghanistan. “Whether it is a murder case, explosion, forgery or finding finger prints, all have to be registered with us. Furthermore, people with registered weapons get their license from here”, says Colonel Hashmatullah.

Colonel Hashmatullah, who has been working as a police officer for the last 31 years, has recently joined the General Department of Criminal Investigation (CID) at the MoI. Previously he was working as the Head of CID in Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. “At the airport my team arrested lots of people with fake passports and many others who wanted to smuggle drugs.” He recalls a drug case when a smuggler tried to smuggle heroin capsules in his stomach. “It was one of the biggest achievements which shows the cooperation between the people and the police. I received a call from someone who said he wants to share an information with me. He said someone flies to India with drugs. He gave us the description of the person and when he came to the airport, we arrested him. Later on the police found out the smuggler was carrying 48 capsules, approximately one kilogram of heroin.”

As a professional police officer, Colonel Hashmatullah is able to identify a number of challenges the Afghan police face. In his new position, he realised the biometrics and criminal technic units of the MoI are lacking some absolutely necessary equipment: “The U.S., Australia, Germany and other countries provided equipment for our department. However, the most important thing is to have the tools and materials which are used during the biometric investigations. Most importantly, the maintenance of the machines is not yet in a satisfactory level.”

Colonel Hashmatullah says he believes the Afghan security forces have the capacity to provide security. However, he says: “The Afghan security forces still need international support; not only equipment but also capacity building courses. This kind of support will ensure the sustainability of the Afghan security forces, especially of the police”, says Colonel Hashmatullah.