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Afghanistan recruiting 36,000 regional security forces

AT-KABUL: Afghanistan’s defense ministry says it plans to recruit 36,000 to form regional defense forces.

Proposed by the defense ministry, the plan was approved by President Ashraf Ghani. The government calls the establishment of the new force as “based on necessity”.

“We started working on the plan after the president approved it. We are going to recruit people in the areas that we consider such security forces are needed,” Dawlat Waziri, spokesman for defense ministry said Saturday.

He said the people who were previously serving in the army and police and were dismissed, would be recruited and armed like the army service members.

Waziri added that the new forces would be stationed in the remote areas that were retaken from the armed opposition groups. “They will be paid 75 per cent of the army soldiers’ salary.”

People in the remote areas said earlier that the areas taken from the opposition groups were fallen again to the groups because of lack of enough troops for protection.

Others seems pessimistic to these forces, arguing that they would be harmful rather than helping security as previously the local police forces did the same.

“Experienced and educated people should be recruited so that they are not misused,” said Gholam Hossein, a Kabul resident.

The local police that were formed in 2010 with the help of the US government, did not work as expected. There were reports that these forces had hands in armed thefts, kidnappings and even cooperation with Taliban fighters.

Parliament members welcome the move, saying that protecting the retaken areas is a key issue.

“Our suggestion to the government is to legalize these forces and form them in the military standards. The people who really serve the country should be recruited,” parliamentarian Keramuddin Rezazada said.

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