PUL-I-ALAM (Pajhwok): International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) troops are set to vacate their main base in central Logar province, handing the camp over to the Afghan National Army (ANA), an official said on Thursday.
Acting Governor Niaz Mohammad Amiri told Pajhwok Afghan News the ANA could use the former NATO base called Shank. The ISAF soldiers are scheduled to leave the forward operating base south of Pul-i-Alam this week.
Up to 8,000 ISAF troops were stationed at the base at one point in time, according to the governor, who said: “This is an important NATO base in the south. In the Bilateral Security Agreement, this is known as Gardez base…”
In fact, the governor said, the base was located at the foot of Teri Kandaw in Logar. At the moment, a number of American soldiers are stationed at Shank base, which is set to be transferred to Afghan forces.
“From this base, the ISAF Special Forces controlled and conducted operations in five provinces, namely Paktia, Paktika, Ghazni and Maidan Wardak,” Amiri said, adding their departure would not impinge on Logar security.
Amiri urged the Ministries of Interior and Defence to equip the Logar-based security personnel. “Naturally, our forces’ responsibility will increase after the NATO withdrawal. This base has had a positive impact.”
Hundreds of Afghans who worked at the base are currently jobless. The governor said 5,000 Afghan security personnel could be stationed at the base, if the government so decided.