Baghdad, Asharq Al-Awsat- The issue of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al Maliki’s order to dismiss Major General Abdul Karim Khalaf, Commander of Operations and Spokesman for the Iraqi Interior Ministry, has resurfaced as the Interior Ministry continues to go against the order, which a senior official at the Interior Ministry described as a “firing.”
A senior official at the Iraqi Interior Ministry told Asharq Al-Awsat that the accusations leveled against Khalaf include the charges that he appointed a number of senior officers from the (Sunni) cities of Diyala and Mosul, he frequently visits houses of ill repute, and that he sent a letter complaining about al Maliki not promoting him.
The senior official said that all the aforementioned accusations “were invalidated after a series of investigations were carried out by the ministry and that Khalaf does not appoint anybody without checking how competent that person is regardless of the city he comes from. We all know that Khalaf is from Amarah, not Mosul or Diyala. We all know that Khalaf is a practical person and non-sectarian and is not concerned whether someone is Shia or Sunni.” The source confirmed that Khalaf is continuing his work at the headquarters of the Interior Ministry everyday and explained that “the dismissal or firing will not happen because the reasons given for it have been completely refuted.”
The Iraqi Interior Minister Jawad al Bolani rejected the order that was issued a month ago stating that Khalaf is one of the best and most courageous officers at the Interior Ministry. Meanwhile the Presidency Council of Iraq considered al Maliki’s decisions against ambassadors, officials and officers in senior positions detrimental to the state’s reputation and the courses of its legal and constitutional work.
Informed sources added that what al Maliki is doing to Khalaf “is part of settling political scores and al Maliki is doing this to whoever he believes is against him or does not support him and is standing in his way of [winning] the elections.”
According to the source, Khalaf “is not the exact target; al Bolani is who al Maliki intends to outdo by bringing down the most important person in the [interior] ministry and to dismiss him without consulting the Interior Minister, the [person] directly responsible for the commander of operations at his ministry.”