Provincial police chief: challenges won't delay transition process in Herat
HERAT (PAN): Security challenges will not delay the security transition process in western Herat province, local officials said on Sunday.
In less than a month, Afghan forces will assume responsibility for security in Herat City, the provincial capital. Provincial Police Chief Abdul Zahir Faizada told Pajhwok Afghan News that remaining security challenges in several districts must not delay the transition.
"Implementing the security transition in the province is the first step toward reinforcing relationships with the public," Faizada said.
Nonetheless, he said that so far the number of security personnel, particularly police, is not adequate to the population's needs, and that they do not have enough equipment.
A ceremony will be held in Herat on July 22 to mark the security forces' transition to Afghan control. Yet Provincial Governor Daud Shah Sabah emphasized that there remained challenges, in the short term as well as the intermediate and long term.
Pajhwok has learned from a source inside the security services that 28 militant groups are currently active in Herat. They pose a continuing threat to a number of districts across the province, including Gulran, Rubat-i-Sangi, Kashk-i-Kuhna, and especially Pushton, Zarghun, and Chasht-Sharif.
However, Col. Noor Khan Niakzad, a Herat police spokesman, said that the provincial police are ready to consolidate lasting security.
According to President Hamid Karzai, the security transition process will begin in Herat City, the capital of Herat province, as well as the cities of Lashkar-Gah, the capital of Helmand province; Mehtarlam, the capital of Laghman province; and Mazari-i-Sharif, the capital of Balkh province. Province-wide security transitions will begin at the same time in Panjshir and Bamyan provinces, as well as Kabul province except for the Sarobi district.
President Karzai and ISAF have agreed to complete the transition process by 2014.
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