KABUL, Afghanistan -- President Hamid Karzai moved quickly Sunday to confirm Parliament's decision to dismiss two senior security ministers the day before, but he reassured the Western allies that he would avoid a vacuum in the two ministries charged with fighting the war and organizing the transition to Afghan control.
In a statement, Karzai said he had requested that both of the men who were dismissed, Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak and Interior Minister Bismillah Khan Mohammedi, stay on until replacements could be found. Describing them as "true sons of Afghanistan," he said that they would be decorated for their service and would remain in the government in different jobs.
The effects of the dismissals will not be clear until Karzai signals how quickly he expects to replace them and the level of presidential trust they will enjoy in the interim, government officials said.
While some in Parliament who voted for the removal of the two officials were upset that the president did not act immediately replace them, others said a delay would be understandable. "We have fighting almost every day in all of the provinces; therefore, he should find the best candidate. These ministries are both extremely important," said Hajji Obaidullah Barakzai, a lawmaker from Uruzgan Province.
The Parliament's motivation for removing the two ministers remained unclear. Some observers said that the men had failed to award jobs and contracts widely