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Karzai Delays Dissolution Of Private Security Firms By Two Months


A security guard (right) keeps watch as a foreign journalist films at Kotal-e Kherskhan in Wardak Province. Aid agencies have threatened to pull out of Afghanistan over the ban.

A security guard (right) keeps watch as a foreign journalist films at Kotal-e Kherskhan in Wardak Province. Aid agencies have threatened to pull out of Afghanistan over the ban.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has offered a concession to Washington over his ban on private security firms, saying the deadline for disbanding the companies in Afghanistan could be extended by two months.

A statement issued by Karzai's office said a committee had been formed that would prepare a timetable for disbandment that would be submitted to the Afghan president by November 15.

Once approved, private security firms would have a maximum of 90 days to shut down their operations in Afghanistan.

The committee is to be led by the Afghan interior minister and include representatives from international donor countries and the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force.

Aid agencies have threatened to pull out of Afghanistan over the ban, saying they would be unable to guarantee the safety of their workers if they replace private security contractors with Afghanistan's poorly trained security forces.

with agency reports
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