On Tuesday, the last phase of security transition was completed through a ceremony in Kabul. President Hamid Karzai announced the transfer of full security across the country from NATO to Afghan security forces. As a result of the transition, 95 districts of southern and eastern provinces came under the control of Afghan forces; at the same time it is necessary to mention that these districts have been relatively insecure.
After the completion of transition International forces of around 100,000 would provide assistance and training to Afghan forces that will be in the lead in the fight against the insurgents.
Before the ceremony President Hamid Karzai said, “From today, our security and defense forces will now be in the lead… From here, all security responsibility and all security leadership will be taken by our brave forces.”
It is really a matter of great pride if Afghan forces are completely ready to shoulder the responsibility of the security of entire country, but at the same time it demands for the capacity to face the severest of the challenges as the insurgents have not been calm this year and they won’t remain calm unless there is a political solution to the issue.
It is important to observe that both Afghan government and NATO have been very much optimistic about the security transition. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, in the ceremony said, “They are doing so (taking the security responsibility of the entire country) with remarkable resolve, and they deserve the full support of the Afghan people… This is a day for Afghans to be proud. And I am proud to stand with you.”
Though optimism is necessary to be able to face the upcoming challenges, but it is also necessary to have a close look at the objective conditions and facts and try to face the realities with courage and determination. Afghan security forces have undoubtedly improved to a great extent but it is a fact that they still need a long way to go. They need support to be trained as far as their skills are concerned. Moreover, they would require support in the form of modern weaponry and the technical knowledge to use them.
Now that the security transition has been completed, there is a crying need of having a political transition. Without a comprehensive political transition it would be really difficult for Afghan authorities to maintain peace and tranquility in the country and provide better future to Afghan people.
The political transition basically has two aspects; the first one is the reconciliation process with Taliban – the peace process, while the second one is the development of democratic system in the government through a transparent election, establishment of good governance, preservation of the basic rights of the people of Afghanistan and eradication of corruption from the administrative institutions.
The peace process has been facing controversies and ambiguities as Taliban have been responding the calls of the process with aggression and violence. Recently, they have carried out some lethal attacks in the capital Kabul. Even on Tuesday, before the ceremony the convoy of Haji Mohammad Mohaqiq, a leader of National Front of Afghanistan, was attacked by an IED explosion, but luckily he escaped the attack. The explosion killed three and injured thirty others, which included four guards of Mohaqiq. The recent attacks in Kabul, including the one mentioned, clearly show that Taliban are in no mood to talk.
During the ceremony President Karzai also announced that government representatives would be sent to Qatar soon to start formal talks with Taliban regarding the peace process. However, such efforts have been made earlier as well but in vain. It is necessary that a comprehensive strategy should be adopted by government and it must not just rely on the calls of peace negotiations. Otherwise, the security transition would be at stake.
On the other hand, Afghan government needs to do much on the other aspect of political transition. It has to make sure that the coming elections are held transparently and authority is transferred to newly elected government in a democratic manner. It requires doing much in order to satisfy the demands of good governance. Moreover, it must also formulate and carryout practical measures to ensure that all the Afghan people have their basic rights, especially the women of Afghanistan who have been the victim of discrimination and violence. At the end, Afghan government needs to show miracle in order to design a strategy that would be successful in combating the rampant corruption in Afghan society.