Security transition in Afghanistan going on well, says expert

Indo Asian News Service

New Delhi, March 4 (IANS) Transition in Afghanistan, with transfer of security responsibilities to Afghan national forces, was going on well, an international security expert said Monday.

Brigadier (retd) Ben Barry, a senior fellow for land warfare at the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), said the neighbouring powers want Afghanistan to be a modern country capable of looking after itself.

Talking to the media after a workshop here on "Perspectives on Iran and regional stability", Barry said presidential elections in Afghanistan will be a crucial political factor in the situation in the country after withdrawal of NATO troops in 2014.

Asked about India and China having agreed to start a dialogue on Afghanistan, Barry said none of the powers in the neighbourhood want instability.

He said there was keenness to create "political conditions for Afghanistan's stability".

Answering another query, he said there were about twenty months left for withdrawal of NATO forces and lot of capacity building of Afghan forces needs to be done.

"Transition of security to Afghan national forces is going on well," he said.

Sanjaya Baru, IISS director for geo-economics and strategy said the institute had a bilateral with India's ministry of external affairs every year.

"It's unique. I don't think any other think tank has such exchange," he said.

He said an MEA team led by the foreign secretary also interacts with IISS every year.

An ORF-IISS workshop had been organised at the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) here.