ISAF must stay longer in Kabul
KABUL: International security forces should continue to be deployed in the Afghan capital into next year despite an improvement in the security situation, the force’s commander said Thursday.
Turkey assumed command of the 20-nation force from Britain last month for a six-month period, but Major General Akin Zorlu told reporters that another country must be found to lead the force after Turkey stands down.
“Another lead nation or organisation must continue, that’s my opinion, in order to give the government (support) to continue their work,” he said. While “the security situation in Kabul is generally calm” the potential for serious problems remained, with police and soldiers still going without pay and an influx of hundreds of thousands of poverty-stricken refugees.
“Most police and army officers and also public employees are not receiving their monthly salaries on time. Some of them, most of them, have not been paid for six months,” said Zorlu.
“This could strengthen criminal tendencies in the city. From the point of stability it’s particularly important to ensure that men under arms are paid regularly.” Some 1.3 million Afghan refugees have returned to their homeland this year as peace settles in much of the country with some 400,000 of them settling in the capital. —AFP