Afghan MPs from Kandahar against speedy transition

Lawmakers from Kandahar said that Afghan forces are far from ready to assume full security responsibility in the province.

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.


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