Major Amanullah Asadyar : “They have to know the law by heart”
Kabul, 1 April, 2012: Several students raise their hands to ask questions when Major Amanullah Asadyar is lecturing about law at the Staff College in Kabul. The Afghan constitution is on the schedule today, and usually a rather dry topic, but the students are interested. To begin with, it is not a usual classroom: the students all wear police uniforms and as district commanders they compile together dozens of years of experience in the Afghan National Police (ANP).
Patiently, Asadyar answers one technical question, this time about the rights of police officers. “It shows that they are interested to progress and it also makes me optimistic that one day we will have a strong and professional police force in Afghanistan,” he says. The five week course for the district commanders is one out of more than 30 courses offered in the temporary classrooms of the Staff College inside the Afghan Border Police.
For Asadyar, since 2011 assigned as Coordinator and Trainer by the Afghan Ministry of Interior to the Staff College, however, the district commanders’ course is absolutely vital. “We have to make sure that we educate the commanders in the provinces and not only high ranking experts from Kabul.” He considers EUPOL’s teaching curriculum for district commanders as one of the best he has ever seen. So far, 287 district commanders have been trained.
The senior police officer knows what it takes to be a law enforcer in Afghanistan and overcome the challenges: Having served for more than 24 years in the police force, he faced the war and worked under harsh conditions. 15 years ago, he was sent to Russia by the Afghan government to study for his master’s degree in Political Science.
A learning experience, he will always remember. Thus, for him, the training of high-ranking police officers is vital and necessary. “Many of our students have never received advanced trainings in leadership, management nor do they know the latest police investigation techniques or have a good understanding of how to combat corruption,” he says. “How can they be honest and loyal police officers who are supposed to fight corruption when they don’t even know the definition of corruption?” For him, this is just a lack of knowledge, and this is why the core courses also cover a variety of topics such as crime scene investigation techniques, management style, children and women rights or the cooperation between police and prosecutors.
Major Asadyar’s favourite course in the curriculum, however, is the basics of Afghanistan’s constitution and human rights issues. “I want them to study and know the law by heart. They are out there to enforce our law and they have to respect human rights, in sum, of the Afghan people.” He is optimistic that his students will be role models for their colleagues when they return to their provinces. “They vow that whatever we teach them, they will share it with their colleagues and subordinates. They will be police officers , leaders and trainers at the same time. This is exactly what we wish.”
For Major Asadyar, being a trainer and coordinator, is a challenging but personally an extremely satisfactory experience because he can see instant results: “When my students are leaving, I know from their feedback that they go back to the provinces after having acquired leadership skills. Most of them are highly motivated.” He wants also his son to step in his shoes: “I want him to be a committed police officer in the future and be at the service of the people. This is what Afghanistan needs.”