Security forces must meet challenge: Hamid Karzai

With foreign troops preparing to withdraw, Prez Hamid Karzai told Afghan security forces that hey face a difficult year ahead.

Kabul: With foreign troops preparing to
withdraw, President Hamid Karzai told Afghan soldiers and
police on Tuesday that they face a difficult year ahead as they
take on more security responsibilities but urged them to push
ahead so that Afghanistan can eventually defend itself.

"NATO and the international community are helping our
country. But this will not go on forever and we don`t want it
forever," Karzai told an assembly of officers from the Afghan
security forces in the yard of the presidential palace. He
appeared to be softening his rhetoric regarding his Western
allies, whom he has previously accused of verging toward
occupation.
Karzai said that while Afghans should be thankful for
the help from the international community, they should also
feel shame that it is needed.

"We are not proud of that. The good news will come
when we, Afghans, are protecting our own homeland," Karzai
said.
The first phase of this transition has occurred over
the past two weeks, with seven areas officially handed over to
Afghan control. The goal is to continue gradually handing over
more areas until the Afghan government takes control of
nationwide security in 2014, when the US is hoping to wrap up
combat operations.

But transition plans have been dogged by worries that
Afghan forces aren`t skilled or organized enough to truly
combat the Taliban insurgency. So in the first handovers, NATO
troops are not leaving. They are just agreeing the Afghan
forces will be in the lead.

Bureau Report

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