ANA ready for 2nd phase of security switch
The National Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG) has revealed the names of the 17 areas where security would transition to the Afghan lead in the second phase.
The areas include Daikundi, Nimroz, Parwan, Samangan, Sar-i-Pul, Takhar and Balkh provinces, as well as some districts and the capitals of Badakhshan, Badghis, Ghazni, Helmand, Herat, Kabul, Laghman, Ghor, Maidan Wardak and Nangarhar provinces.
President Hamid Karzai is set to officially announce the final list of the areas at the Istanbul Conference being attended by representatives from 20 countries and aid agencies.
The Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) were fully prepared for the second phase, Ministry of Defence spokesman Gen. Zahir Azimi said. "The delivery of equipment, used by the US forces, to ANA is complete. It's enough for internal security."
However, he said the Afghan Air Force needed more sophisticated heavy weapons, radars and aircraft.
The spokesman added areas for the second phase of the security transfer would be identified after a thoroughgoing assessment. A major reason for the inclusion of unstable provinces in the list was that Afghan forces were ready to shoulder the security responsibility, he explained.
A parliamentarian from southern Kandahar province on Tuesday warned that security transition in the birthplace of the Taliban movement would be a mistake, because Afghans forces were not yet self-reliant.
Previously, Kandahar-based officials said they were ready to take over security for the province. The lawmaker insisted Kandahar was not ready for security transition and the process must be delayed in the province for two years.
For his part, Azimi said: "We respect the views of our countrymen and the remarks by government and non-governmental institutions on the process are very important to us and we can utilise them, if need be."
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