KABUL - European Union Police Mission in Afghanistan (EUPOL) chief Karl Ake Roghe on Sunday said they would continue to support what he called "dramatically improving" Afghan police beyond 2014, a deadline set for most foreign troops' pullout.
During an interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, Roghe said the mission that began in 2007 helped interior and justice ministries to improve human rights, combat corruption, investigate criminal cases, train attorneys and police cooperation with judicial departments.
He said training of the Afghan police was going well, with 6,500 officers, including provincial and district police chiefs, trained on the subjects over the past nine months. The EUPOL chief added their 350 officers were performing duties with interior and justice ministries, as well as the Attorney General's Office as advisors.
The advisors provide tips on how to evolve laws and increase cooperation between police and prosecutors, he said, claiming 27 EU member states were supportive of the mission that would be completed by mid-2013. However, he said EU members wanted the mission to continue until 2014.
In 2014, when overall security responsibility would be transferred to Afghan forces, they would train police officers to keep the mission going, Roghe continued.
Afghan police's improvement had been dramatic, despite challenges, he remarked, explaining that the force would take time coming up to international standards. He believed though challenges remained, yet Afghan police were ready to effectively discharge their duty without international support.
However, Roghe stressed the need for public cooperation with the force -- a goal that would be achievable only when police were professionally trained.
He said a number of officials at various departments had been trained by the mission on how to strengthen the fight against corruption. He said the mission had launched a professional training program on corruption at the Ministry of Interior.
He said fight against corruption was a hard task because a number of advanced nations were still struggling with the issue. "As you know, the people of Afghanistan want swift changes, but I would like to say changes need time to come about. The Ministry of Interior needs time to overcome the issue." (Pajhwok)