Tue, Jun

President eyes strong army, air force


karzai-2012President Hamid Karzai has said the Afghan National Army (ANA) should be laced with modern arms, with a competent and well-equipped air force, to protect the country’s borders.

During a meeting with senior ANA officials, including Defence Minister Bismillah Mohammadi and corps commanders at his office late on Sunday, he said a strong military was important to ensure the country’s territorial integrity.

Issues concerning the army’s strengthening, preparations for the April elections and security arrangements came up for discussion at the meeting, the Presidential Palace said.Karzai expressed pleasure over people’s cooperation with the security forces and their self-confidence.

“We will not get into trouble until the nation considers us its defenders. “Misfortune will befall us when people stop seeing security forces as their defenders,” the president said, adding his administration wanted to boost the army with the requisite tools. Regarding ANA reliance on foreign aid, Karzai said the future would be different and Afghanistan itself would have to fund its military. “You have given me a good message of self-confidence; it is an excellent message.

The assurance you gave me about poll security is a matter of hope and pleasure,” said the president. Speaking on the occasion, Mohammadi said the army would spare no efforts in defending the motherland. He asserted the army’s readiness to provide security for the upcoming polls.

The defence ministry was tasked with conducting a study of measures to make it stronger and submit it to the presidential office.