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US won’t support arming illegal groups: Decker

US won’t support arming illegal groups: Decker

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Sep 02, 2020 - 14:39

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok) The United States would not support arming of any group in Afghanistaninfo-icon as its assistance goes only to the Afghan national security and defense forces, a top American diplomat said on Wednesday.

The Afghan Ministry of Interior Affairs has recently announced Security Charter Program but some people fear the government would distribute arms to warlords under the program, which may lead to a public intimidation.

In an interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, US Charge d’Affaires Karen Decker said her country would not support the arming of any illegal group.

That is the military and security organizations that we support and have supported since the beginning,” she said, adding the US was committed to Afghan Security Forces.

“We are changing some of the ways we work together, that does not mean our commitment is any less.”

When asked about the capabilities of Afghan Security Forces fighting against terrorism, Decker said: “I think our future depends on Afghan Security Forces being primarily responsible for the fight against terrorism. Nobody wants to have American troops in Afghanistan forever.”

She said the US itself did not want to be in Afghanistan and the Afghans also did not want it. “Nobody wants it.  I think our partnership over time, again, will continue to evolve, to reflect the capabilities of Afghans to do these missions themselves with our support, but ultimately we have sought security guarantees from the Talibaninfo-icon.”

The diplomat said the Taliban had pledged certain commitments with the US but at the same time Afghanistan would be protected and defended by its security forces.

“So they will ultimately be primarily responsible to keep Afghanistan from becoming a platform for international terrorism again.”

However, she said there was a lot of work still to do. “I can’t speak for other countries.  But yes, I think ultimately Afghan security forces will secure Afghanistan”, she concluded.”

A few days back some military analysts claimed the proposed Security Charter was a threat and arms distribution was part of the program, which could lead to public intimidation.

However, government sources stoutly defend the idea and hailed it as a public mobilization program. They vehemently rejected the impression that arms would be distributed to people under the plan.

Gen. Abdul Wahid Taqat remarked: “I’m aware of it, but I don’t call it a security charter. What kind of charter and for whose security? It is terrorism and intimidation of people.”

“This is the brainchild of Vice-President Amrullah Saleh. The Ministry of Interior’s denial of weapons distribution is a plain lie,” the former general claimed.

He accused some security sector bosses of not being committed to the country and wanted to vitiate the security environment. Mafia groups were behind the charter, he alleged.

The charter would not help improve security, he insisted, rejecting the move as a conspiracy to stoke ethnic strife. “It is deliberate effort to arm one ethnic community against others”, according to Gen. Taqat.

Hilaluddin Hilal, another defense analyst, said the so-called security mechanism was far from clear. He slammed the distribution of weapons to people and formation of militias as a failed experiment in Afghanistan.

“The unity of people is essential for maintaining public order. People committed to the country have to be hired and serious attention paid to their recruitment. If it doesn’t happen, the process would certainly fail and will lead to another round of civil war --something we all have experienced in the past.”

He opined a security charter was effective only when the government controlled and led it. But when the government itself is weak, the formation of such groups does not contribute to boosting security, according to him.

The MoI announced the launch of the security charter program on July 14 this year. Presidential Spokesman SidiqSidiqi had told the launching ceremony that the charter was aimed at strengthening security and effectively combating crime.

He said the program would be developed and implemented in Kabul before it was enforced in other provinces.

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