Afghan MPs from Kandahar against speedy transition
Last Updated: Tuesday, November 01, 2011, 21:56
Kabul: Lawmakers from Kandahar on Tuesday said that Afghan forces are far from ready to assume full security responsibility in the province that was the birthplace of the Taliban, stressing it should be among the last regions where NATO forces hand over control to Afghan counterparts.

Meanwhile, a roadside bomb killed two NATO service members Tuesday in east Afghanistan, the coalition said, providing no further details. The deaths three days after a suicide truck bombing in Kabul killed five service members and eight civilian contractors raised to 491 the number of NATO troops killed so far this year in Afghanistan.

Flanked by fellow Kandahar parliamentarians, lawmaker Khalid Pashtun pointed to a deadly Taliban attack yesterday in the provincial capital as a clear example of why they need NATO forces long after Afghan troops assume sole responsibility in other parts of Afghanistan. In that attack, five people, including three working for the UN's refugee agency, were killed.

The Kandahar legislators fear their province will be on the second list that President Hamid Karzai is expected to announce in the coming weeks as regions where security is to be handed over to Afghan forces.

The concerns come as NATO, which plans to withdraw its combat forces by 2014, recently shifted its thinking on the transition process, with an eye on handing over not only relatively peaceful areas but also some violent regions, where coalition forces are still in a position to provide backup.

"We have too many security problems in Kandahar," Pashtun said, adding that since the start of the US-led invasion, the province has been the epicentre of Afghanistan's security woes. "We believe that transition of security should happen. But considering the ... situation in Kandahar and some other provinces in the south," it should not be on the second or even third transition list.


First Published: Tuesday, November 01, 2011, 21:56

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