Unlike expectations, President Hamid Karzai announced the second phase of security transition neither in Istanbul conference nor in the Loya Jirga. Both the events were held this month and were sound platforms for this purpose. Reportedly, 17 more areas will be handed over to Afghan army and police under the second phase. Already, seven cities and provinces are controlled by the national security forces. The announcement of the second phase of transition remains pending with the president. So far, no reason for the delay has been formally expressed by the government. But it is very necessary to thoroughly analyze the success of the first phase before going to the second one.
At times when the Afghans are delightful about the growing control of Afghan soldiers, there are also concerns on the future security of the transitioned areas. Since this summer, when the first phase of transition took place, security become the worst specifically in Lashgargah the center of Helmand province while there were certain deadly attacks by Taliban in Hirat city and around. Unusually, Bamiyan and Panjsher, known to be the most peaceful provinces of Afghanistan, also experienced terror attacks after they were transitioned.
Political pundits maintain that the Taliban will concentrated on worsening the security of the areas that have fallen or will fall in the hands of Afghan security forces. As a result of this, the already peaceful regions will also turn insecure. While, some MPs say, the transition process should have not started from the peaceful areas but from insecure provinces like Kandahar, Ghazni, Zabul etc. This would enable the government and NATO to analyze the capacity of Afghan security forces.
The growing role of Aghan army and police is no doubt a story of success for Afghanistan and its international allies. It signals that the decade long efforts of international community have started giving results. But it should not be forgot that Taliban, Haqqani networks and other groups of insurgents still have potential to ruin the security of any province.