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Wolesi Jirga voices aversion to troop surge

Wolesi Jirga voices aversion to troop surge

Jul 01, 2017 - 16:52

KABUL (Pajhwok): Some Wolesi Jirga members on Saturday opposed a new surge in NATO troop numbers in Afghanistan, asking the alliance to focus on equipping the local forces.

NATO Secretary General Jens. Stoltenberg earlier confirmed sending thousands of more troops to Afghanistan after a meeting of defence ministers. However, he did not clearly say how many more troops would be sent.

Last month, he recalled, NATO’s heads of state and government had agreed to augment their role in the fight against terrorism and to improve burden-sharing across the alliance.

In response to a question from Pajhwok, the secretary-general said NATO had ended its combat operation in Afghanistan. The NATO soldiers were helping the Afghans fight and take full responsibility for the security in their country.

But Ikramuddin Rezazada, a lawmaker from Ghor province, argued an increase in the number of foreign troops would contribute to further deterioration of the already tense security situation in the country.

With an increased presence of foreign soldiers, he cautioned, people should not expect peace and stability. The past experience had shown more international soldiers had failed to improve security, he said.

The legislator urged NATO and the US to invest on training and equipment of Afghan forces instead of sending more troops to the Afghanistan.  Other members of the house shared his viewpoint.

Deputy Speaker Mohammad Nazir Ahmadzai said sending more troops meant more insecurity and violence. The proposed would neither help end the conflict nor ensure durable peace, he believed.

He suggested the cost of additional foreign troops be diverted to training and equipping of Afghan forces.