Foreign forces won’t interfere in transitioned areas: Azimi
Addressing a press conference Wednesday, Defence Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Zahir Azimi said that the security transition fulfills the aspirations of Afghans and the government. He said Afghan forces are still fighting insurgents in areas where the transition has taken place.
The first phase of the security transition lasted from July 17 to July 25. Over the period, security responsibility was transferred to Afghan forces in the provinces of Panjsher, Bamyan and Kabul (except the Sarobi district) and the cities of Lashkargah, Herat, Mehtarlam and Mazar-i-Sharif.
The security transition is scheduled to be complete across the country by 2014.
At a media briefing a day earlier, ISAF spokesman Carsten Jacobson said that the multinational force would continue to play a supporting role in areas where security had transitioned to Afghans.
Azimi said the withdrawal of international troops from Afghanistan was a pretext for the Taliban and now that the pullout has begun, they should stop attacking security forces.
But he said the Taliban are still trying to target Afghan forces in the transitioned areas. Azimi added: “We are not concerned about the capacity of Afghan forces to maintain security.”
He said the number of Afghan National Army soldiers exceeded 170,000.
He asked that the international community equip Afghan forces with weapons, military jets and helicopters, tanks, transport aircraft, radar, and ammunition.
He said that the Ministry was negotiating with the international community about the best way to enable Afghan forces to maintain security in absence of foreign forces.
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