Positive Change in Afghanistan Despite Insurgents: ISAF Representative
Azerbaijan, Baku, 28 October / Trend corr. D.Ibrahimova/ There are positive changes in different spheres in Afghanistan, although country's stability is frequently violated.
"There is progress, albeit uneven," the ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) Spokesperson, Brigadier-General Richard Blanchette said to Trend via e-mail.
"Eighty-five per cent of afghans now have access to basic healthcare - this is up from 9% in 2003. Six million children have enrolled in schools, 35% of which are girls, compared with 1 million in 2001 - very few of whom were girls. More than 13,000 km of roads have been built, improved or rehabilitated; and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita has increased by 70% since 2002," said Blanchette.
Despite social achievements, the security is insufficient in the country. Taliban movement still undermines stability in the country.
The situation in 16 Afghan provinces has even deteriorated in recent several years, Mohammad Mohaqiq, a member of the Afghan Parliament, Chairman of the People's Islamic Unity Party of Afghanistan, said to Trend .
"Such frequent violation of security in the country by Talibs shows the wrong struggle against the movement," said Mohaqiq.
Taliban detachments attacked and sacked Wama city, Governor of the Nuristan Province said on 26 October.
According to Blanchette, this is primarily for 3 reasons:
"The insurgents are carrying out a larger number of smaller asymmetric attacks, including a 50% increase in the use of improvised explosive devices."
"The fact that Afghan National Security Forces and ISAF have increased strength and are operating in new and more areas than in previous years, which entails strengthening of Talibs activity."
"Insurgent's freedom of action across the border from sanctuaries in the Pakistan tribal areas."
"The wrong strategy prevents the coalition forces from overcoming the Talibs," said Mohaqiq.
UK Defence Minister said to the Sunday Times he was not sure that Talibs would be overcome in near future. " UK troops will remain in Afghanistan until the complete victory over Taliban."
"The Afghan National Army continues to grow in number, competence, and capabilities and is approved to grow to 122,000 by 2012. Today, the majority of operations involving the ANA are Afghan-led. The Afghan National Security Forces, which include the Afghan National Army, the Afghan National Police and border forces, will increasingly be able to protect Afghanistan from its enemies. In the meantime, ISAF is here to support them," said Blanchette.
"Exact predictions should not be attempted, and we are focused on an end state, not and end date - and that end state being that the Afghan National Security Forces will be able to provide for the security of Afghanistan without the help of international security forces," he said.
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