In an unexpected move, the U.S. has withdrawn its media advisers from the Afghan government's media center.
The U.S. has been funding and supporting the Afghan Government Media and Information Centre (GMIC) for the past four years.
A statement on the Web site of the U.S embassy in Kabul said: The United States is reassessing and reviewing its relationship with the Afghan Government Media Information Center, and thought it appropriate to withdraw U.S. personnel while that process is underway.
Though the embassy did not elaborate on the reasons for its withdrawal from the crucial news dissemination centre and just added that withdrawal was part of the a planned transition and the U.S. wanted to ensure that its support and resources are used efficiently and effectively as the transition takes place.
The move is surprising considering the fact that the GMIC is an important centre that was involved in shaping the official news dissemination from the country and the government. American personnel were acting as advisers to Afghan officials, mentoring them on PR practices and how to improve their news conferences.
The withdrawal coincidently followed a press conference at the center where the government-appointed committee had released a report criticizing the NATO's night raids and civilian deaths.
According to a Washington Post report, there has been growing dissatisfaction among the U.S. officials regarding the working of the media centre. The Information centre was reportedly politicized with anti-American and anti-west sources gaining ground there.
The withdrawal points to the American resentment over rising Afghan criticism.
However, the U.S. will continue its financial support for the center (which was between $3 and 4 million in past years). We continue fully to support a free and open media in Afghanistan, said the statement on the embassy Web site.