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Afghanistan's future won't be a replay of past: ISAFBy Muhammad Hasan Khitab Feb 3, 2013 - 16:20
KABUL (PAN): NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) has shut its 230 bases and transferred another 370 bases to the Afghan government as part of the security transition, a spokesman for the alliance said on Sunday.
ISAF would continue to assist Afghan security forces who had the ability to defend their homeland, Brigadier General Günter Katz told Pajhwok Afghan News during an interview.
He said Afghanistan's future would not be a replay of the past after the planned withdrawal of foreign troops in 2014 as the international community was committed not to leave the country alone.
"As we were expecting, the Afghan security forces have proved they can shoulder security responsibilities and can help accelerate the transition process," he said, adding Afghan forces would be further strengthened and equipped by the end of 2014.
To a question how many foreign troops would stay in Afghanistan after 2014, Katz said a final decision on the issue would be taken in Washington or Brussels.
He said post-2014 mission in Afghanistan would be focused on advices and training Afghan forces, revealing 28 NATO member states and eight allies in Brussels had promised cooperation to that end.
The ISAF spokesman, calling roadside bombs a challenge, said the alliance was helping Afghan forces in combating the threat.
About security problems in the border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan, Katz said the two countries were paying serious attention to insurgent activities in the region.
He said the situation in Afghanistan-Pakistan border region had come under discussions at trilateral meetings between Afghanistan, Pakistan and ISAF.
"Challenges in the border areas cannot be resolved overnight. They need more time and trilateral cooperation to resolve," Katz remarked.