KABUL - Members of Wolesi Jirga's Defense Commission on Sunday said the second phase of security transfer should focus on insecure provinces, believing public support was vital to making the project a success.
The process began on July 17 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2014. The first phase that started from central Bamyan province had been completed in Panjsher, Kabul, Mehtarlam, Lashkargah, Herat City and Mazar-i-Sharif
IDLG chief Abdul Khaliq Farahi said at a meeting with governors in Kabul they were ready to take over the security responsibility in Daikundi, Nimroz, Parwan, Samangan, Sar-i-Pul, Takhar and Balkh provinces as part of the second phase.
Farahi said the handover would also take place in some districts of Badakhshan, Badghis, Ghazni, Helmand, Herat, Kabul, Ghor, Laghman, Maidan Wardak and Nangarhar.
Qala-i-Naw, the capital of Badghis, and Aab Kamari district, Ghazni City, Nawa district of Helmand, Herat province, excluding Shindand and Chasht-e-Sharif districts, Sarobi district of Kabul and Chaghcharan, the capital of Ghor, are also due for the switch
But outspoken lawmaker, Shukriya Barakzai, who heads the parliamentary commission, told a press conference the process should have been launched in insecure provinces so that the capability of local forces could be tested and their needs identified.
"If the security situation improves in volatile parts of the country, there will be no problem in relatively stable regions," she said, calling on NATO-led forces to step up efforts at training and equipping Afghan forces. She called public support crucial to making the transition a success.
Another member of the commission, General Ali Akbar Qasimi, suggested the second phase be carried out in Kandahar, Paktika, Uruzgan and others unstable areas. He said it would have been a test for Afghan forces to know their capability and requirements.
However, former defense minister Shahnawaz Tanai also opined the project should have started from restive areas in line with military principles. Keeping in view Afghanistan's geographical location, its forces lacked the ability to ensure security for unstable regions, he said.
Tanai accused the international community of failing to properly train and equip Afghan forces over the past 10 years. He said promises made at the first Bonn Conference in 2001 had not been implemented.