Kabul: Afghanistan`s defence ministry has
begun ordering soldiers who have families in Pakistan to move
them to Afghanistan in a bid to rid the Army of Taliban
infiltrators, officials said on Saturday.
The new policy was crafted in response to a recent spate
of incidents in which Afghan soldiers reportedly with links to
militants carried out attacks against NATO troops.
"We have been told to ask our soldiers who have relatives
in Pakistan to move them to Afghanistan," Abdul Hamid Hamid,
the army corps commander in Kandahar, said, adding that
the policy was not yet finalised.
"Sometimes their families are used as hostages by some
intelligence agencies to put pressure on them to do what they
don`t want to," he said.
Most of the soldiers who are recruited in Kandahar have
families in Pakistan, he added.
Kandahar is the birthplace of the Taliban whose
government was toppled by a US-led invasion in 2001 following
the September 11 attacks.
The militants, who are believed to have sanctuaries in
Pakistan, have waged an increasing insurgency against the
US-backed Afghan government and foreign forces.
"We have put up more strict rules in enlisting the new
recruits. Those who have families in Pakistan are checked more
seriously," ministry of defence spokesman Daulat Waziri said.
A renegade Afghan soldier who shot dead four French
troops in January had visited Peshawar, Pakistan`s main
northwestern city that borders Taliban and al Qaeda
strongholds near the Afghan border, before rejoining the Army,
according to officials.
Six per cent of overall NATO deaths in Afghanistan have
been attributed to attacks by Afghan security forces,
according to a confidential alliance report leaked to the
Some 40 attacks were reportedly committed by Afghan
forces against NATO troops in the last four years, including
18 last year. There are about 130,000 NATO troops in
Afghanistan, working with more than 300,000 members of the
Afghan security forces.