Afghan President Ashraf Ghani named two former heads of the intelligence services to key security posts in his government on Sunday in a step that could affect both next year’s presidential election and moves toward peace with the Taliban.
Asadullah Khalid, who suffered horrific injuries in a Taliban suicide attack shortly after taking over the National Directorate for Security in 2012, was named as acting defense minister. Amrullah Saleh, who served as NDS chief until 2008, was appointed acting interior minister.
Both men, veterans of decades of conflict in Afghanistan, have been uncompromising opponents of the Taliban and of Pakistan, which they accuse of supporting the insurgency, but both have also been at times strongly critical of Ghani.
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