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“Ceding remote areas to local army, inconsiderate decision”

AT-KABUL: A number of the members of the Parliament rejected a plan made by the defense ministry based on which, the military is to hand over remote areas with few population to the local army.

The scheme was earlier announced by the defense ministry, but parliamentarians on Monday, said the plan would not be implemented with one of them claiming that the plan would spark a “house to house” war in the country.

“Not only the defense ministry’s scheme is not implemented, but this will spark a house to house war. It will empower crucial local commanders and will finance them to continue their brutalities. Why are they not increasing the number of the national army to save the people from warlordism?” parliamentarian, Saleh Mohammad Saleh said.

Mohammad Radmanesh, spokesman for the defense ministry, said that the scheme would hand over the remote areas with fewer population to the local army. The 36,000-strong army would be formed soon, according to Radmanesh.

The US President, Donald Trump has reportedly called on the Afghan army to retreat from remote areas. The New York Times has quoted three US officials as saying that this was part of the US strategy for Afghanistan that was earlier announced. They have said that the retreat would prevent Taliban attacks on those areas and the military would more focus on cities with more population.

But, Radmanesh said this was their plan that attracted the US support. “This was our strategy based on which, remote areas with few population should be handed to the local army and the soldiers should be transferred to the bases. Some disorders will be prevented by this plan, because threats increase against us while disorder. The US has supported our plan and I believe this would give a positive fruit,” said Radmanesh.

But, security experts say that the plan could help irresponsible commanders who were disarmed before, get weapon and restart illegal activities.

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