London: Serious concerns over the Afghan National Police (ANP) are voiced in leaked British documents published on Sunday which warn that building an effective force will take "many years".
The Independent on Sunday quoted internal Foreign Office papers from several months ago saying non-existent "ghost recruits" may account for up to a quarter of the force`s alleged strength, while concerns are also raised over drug use.
"The scale of the challenge is immense," a briefing for a British official said, according to the paper.
"Building an independent, professional and accountable police force will take many years and require considerable international support."
Plans are in place to expand the strength of Afghan police from around 100,000 to 160,000 as part of the fight against the Taliban insurgency.
A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office told the Independent on Sunday: "We are aware of widespread criticisms of the ANP, some of which are deeply concerning.”
"The UK is fully committed to police reform to ensure a professional and accountable police force."