Balkh security improved after transition: Noor
MAZAR-I-SHARIF (PAN): Balkh Governor Atta Mohammad Noor on Sunday claimed the security situation in the province has improved since local forces took over the security responsibility from their foreign counterparts.
Speaking at a joint press conference with members of the Meshrano Jirga's Defence Commission, Noor said there had been no problem so far since the security transition process took place in Mazar-i-Sharif, the provincial capital.
The delegation visited Mazar-i-Sharif to assess the security situation and evaluate the capability of Afghan forces. The governor said 16 armed attacks had been prevented and 10 militants, including two commanders, arrested.
Another nine militant leaders were detained during operations by Afghan forces and scores of others surrendered with their arms, the governor said, complaining the process of equipping and training local forces had been slow.
Nearly 16,000 army and police personnel have been deployed to nine northern provinces, Noor said, adding as many policemen were operating in one particular province. There was a district in Balkh having 300 villages, but only 30 policemen were deputed there, he added. "In such a situation, how can one expect better security?"
He urged the delegation to make efforts at strengthening local forces in Balkh. He warned if urgent steps for providing modern equipment to local forces were not taken, the transition plan could face problems.
Haji Rooh Gul Khairzada, the Defence Commission chief, told the press conference their visit was aimed at evaluating the security transfer plan. He said they would try to indentify weaknesses in the first phase of the process by assessing the capability of Afghan forces.
He urged the international community not to leave Afghan forces alone during the security transition and enhance their capacity.
Residents of Mazar are also of the view that the security situation has improved in the city after the handover of the security responsibility to Afghan forces.
Habibullah, a resident, said local forces had been able to maintain security for the city. In the past, they had to live in fear due to the presence of foreign troops, he concluded.
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