Former ANDSF officers in India hold demonstration

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A number of army officers serving in the previous Afghan government who received military training in various military courses and academies in India said that they are facing an uncertain future and economic challenges in that country.

Over 180 officers held a protest on Wednesday in front of the Indian External Affairs Ministry and said they were living in an uncertain situation. They said the Indian government did not fulfill the promises it made to them after the fall of the former government.

The officers stated that it has been four months since they graduated from the academies and training courses in the country and they have come to New Delhi where they are living now.

“We, officers of Afghanistan’s National Army, have graduated from academies and courses in India. We are in a very difficult economic and psychological situation. There is no entity to hear our voice. The Indian government as the host gave us lots of promises during our training, but has not fulfilled those promises,” a protester said.

“We graduated from and passed through various academies in India, and there are officers who have come from different training centers here in India. We were told the Indian government will provide us with any kind of help that they can. There were certain promises which were made to us. It has been now four months since we have moved to Delhi and we are living here, but we have not heard anything from the Indian government or anything from the defense department in India,” another protester said.

These officers called on the Indian government to fulfill its promises toward the Afghan army officers and clarify their future options.

Following the political change in Afghanistan, most of the military officers who had gone to foreign countries for training are living in a state of uncertainty.

Meanwhile, at least 26 female military cadets who were graduated from Marshal Fahim National Defense University said they are committed to put their heart and soul in serving the country.

The female cadets were part of 350 officers who celebrated their graduation on Thursday.

“The military officer academy creates leaders in Afghan National Army. We women now serve alongside our brothers, and to wear the military uniform for Afghanistan is the greatest symbol of pride I could ever put on,” Second Lieutenant Somaiya said, as she addressed those gathered for the ceremony and her fellow graduates. “Afghan National Army Officer Academy represents all of Afghanistan, because we have people here from all regions, tribes and ethnicities. They are here united together against the enemies of Afghanistan.”

The Resolute Support deputy commander Lieutenant General Richard Cripwell speaking at the graduation ceremony said the new officers

should be proud of themselves and this day because they are about to join the army to serve the nation.

“This should be an extremely proud day for you and your family and your friends as gaining a commission to the Afghan National Army is a significant achievement that warrants all of our respect and pride,” Crpwell said. “I want to remind you that you will never stop learning. You are the promise and the future of this great country. Much will be asked of you and you will be required to make at times very difficult decisions.”

Lecturers from the military academy said at least 100 female officers are under trainings at the university and that 23 other female officers were graduated in March.

“In addition to this, there are a group of girls, 73 girls, in Turkey and they are receiving trainings there,” Defense Ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri said. The curriculum at Marshal Fahim National Defense University is based on the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst model. This academy was founded in 2013.—Tolo News

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