24 Jun 2007

PR# 2007-467

Leaders meet in Ghazni to discuss further progress

TACTICAL ASSEMBLY AREA THUNDER, Afghanistan – Afghan leaders from Ghazni province met here June 23 for a press conference to discuss how the government of Afghanistan can improve basic services and security for nearby villagers, building on the successes of Operation Maiwand.

The press conference focused on the continued efforts of the Afghan National Security Forces and some of their major accomplishments during the past month in eastern Ghazni to build support among the people for the government.   

“Today’s meeting is a major step forward for the people of Andar,” said Afghan National Army Gen. Khaliq.  “The Taliban said the people will never support the army or the police.  [However], they have provided information and assistance to security forces that has directly resulted in the capture of several Taliban and the removal of several weapon caches and improvised explosive devices in the Miri and surrounding areas.”

Many of the questions and concerns raised by the elders dealt with what forces would remain after the conclusion of Operation Maiwand.  Both Khaliq and Afghan National Police Gen. Fatah reassured the people that Afghan police will have a large enough presence to defend the people. 

“You have seen what the government and its security forces wish to bring the people of Afghanistan, and you have seen what the Taliban have brought,” Khaliq said. “Our forces will stand by you and assist you as together we defend the soil of Afghanistan and Islam.”

In order to support the ANSF, ISAF’s Col. Martin P. Schweitzer agreed to provide a large support element in and around Andar.

“This is a huge increase in ISAF presence in this district,” Schweitzer said. “In the months leading up to Maiwand, we had a platoon-size element, about 40 folks in Andar. We are leaving behind a much, much larger force to show our commitment to the people of Andar and assist the ANSF as they continue to separate the enemy and protect the people.”

Prior to the beginning of Operation Maiwand there were no ANA soldiers within Andar.

Operation Maiwand marks a move forward towards integrated government at all levels.  During this operation, all levels of government from the national level to the lowest level at the district centers are working together to provide humanitarian aid and security to the people. They work with the people and ISAF forces in determining future projects and infrastructure development within region.

According to both Afghan and ISAF security officials, similar operations are expected to be conducted during the next several months throughout eastern Afghanistan as the ANSF continue to grow in capability and the people continue to reject the insurgents and embrace their government.

Contact Information ISAF Public Affairs Office
Tel: +93 (0)799 51 1155 - Mobile: 0093 (0) 799 55 8291 pressoffice@hq.isaf.nato.int - www.nato.int/isaf/