Policing Kabul James Bond style
In the past four years, 5,000 young men have graduated from Afghanistan’s national police academy. After three months of training, new recruits join a fledgling police force that’s been tasked not only with reducing ordinary crime but also fighting terrorism. There’s no doubt it’s a dangerous job. Casualties among Afghan policemen outnumber casualties of Afghan soldiers fourfold. But in recent years there has been growing international interest in helping to train and reform the Afghan national police force as the guarantor of law and order in the country.
Last summer, FRONTLINE/World reporter Nadene Ghouri traveled to Kabul, the nation’s capital, to report on the efforts of one of the city’s leading police units: the Criminal Investigations Department, or CID. There, she met General Ali Shah Paktiawal, the department’s brash, abrasive, and seemingly ubiquitous chief. Dubbed the James Bond of Kabul, General Paktiawal is known for showing up at almost every major crime scene. He says, “There are two words not in my vocabulary. One is ‘problem,’ and the other is ‘fear.’ I don’t know fear.”
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