Officials prepare for Kabul security transfer
KABUL (PAN): Afghan officials are preparing for the transfer of security responsibility to Afghan security forces in Kabul, officials said Tuesday, but some analysts say that Afghan security forces should be better armed.
The first phase of the transfer of security responsibilities from international to Afghan forces began July 17 in the central province of Bamyan. Afghan forces have also assumed security responsibility in Mehtarlam, a city in the eastern province of Laghman.
The process is continuing in the province of Kabul, except the Sorobi district, and in the provinces of Panjshir and Herat and the cities of Lashkargah and Mazar-i-Sharif.
Col. Mohammad Zahir, the head of criminal investigations in Kabul, said that Afghan security forces have been providing security in the city of Kabul for two years.
He said that International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) soldiers had played only a supporting role in this regard over the period.
He added that there would be a ceremony for the transfer of security in Kabul.
He also said that the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), particularly the police, currently require the equipment of foreign forces in certain cases such as defending against suicide attacks.
He asked the international community to supply the ANSF with such equipment.
He added that Afghan security forces are capable of keeping security in the Sorobi district of Kabul province but will continue to be supported by foreign forces for now.
Three major attacks have taken place in Kabul over the past month, including a shooting in the 1st police district, a suicide attack on the Intercontinental Hotel, and the killing of Jan Mohammad Khan, a top advisor to President Karzai, along with Uruzgan MP Mohammad Hashim Watanwal.
In the assault on the 1st police district three attackers, four security forces, and five civilians were killed, and 12 people injured.
In the attack on the Intercontinental Hotel,9 Afghan civilians, one Spaniard, two policemen, and nine attackers were killed. In addition, 13 civilians, five police, and two ISAF soldiers from New Zealand were injured.
Most recently, militants attacked the home of Jan Mohammad Khan, who was killed along with Uruzgan MP Mohammad Hashim Watanwal. Two attackers and one policeman also died in the attack.
The Taliban has claimed responsibility for all the attacks.
Zahir said Afghan security forces had led the operations against the attackers of the Intercontinental Hotel and Jan Mohammad Khan’s house, and that international troops had provided only night vision helicopters to the operations.
Some analysts say that Afghan security forces would be better at keeping security if they were better armed.
Abdul Wahid Taqat, a retired general from the National Directorate of Security (NDS), told Pajhwok Afghan News that Afghan forces will not be able to keep security until foreign forces leave.
But former Defence Minister General Shahnawaz Tanai said that Afghan forces still need equipment support from foreign forces.
He added that though problems remain, the Afghan government must achieve sovereignty.
He also said that security measures must be taken to prevent attacks once foreign militaries leave, and that if they are not, the militants will continue to fight.
On Tuesday presidential spokesman Wahid Omar said that militants had stepped up their attacks in an effort to derail the security transfer process. But he emphasized that the security transfer process was irreversible.
Ashraf Ghani, who heads the commission overseeing the security transfer process, said he was hopeful the commission would achieve its goals by the end of 2014.
Ahmadzai added that at a recent conference in Kabul, the international community had expressed its commitment to supporting, arming, and raising the quality and quantity of Afghan security forces throughout the security transfer process.