London, June 4 (ANI): Widespread corruption in the Afghanistan police is driving people to join the Taliban and fuelling the insurgency, a NATO commanding officer has said.
The Telegraph quoted Lt. Col. Roly Walker, as saying that the force was still one of the "biggest obstacles to progress."
He said that the local force was "the reason for the insurgency" in the Nad-e-Ali district of Helmand and that the corruption meant the local population was more distrustful of coalition troops and less likely to be loyal to the Afghan government. But more worryingly incidents of police "bad behaviour" were encouraging young men to join the Taliban, said Lt Col Walker, the commanding officer of the Grenadier Guards.
"They were most often cited by people as the reason why there was a problem or a reason why people joined the Taliban," he said.
His comments come as a particular blow because Nato requires a credible and trusted Afghan National Police to win the support of the population away from the insurgents.
The officer was speaking for the first time since the 11 Light Brigade returned from Helmand last month following a six month tour in which the Taliban suffered more than a 1,000 dead at the hands of the British.
The Grenadiers were engaged in 1,300 firefights with insurgents in which they killed "north of 600".
Including the five soldiers killed by the rogue policeman, the battle group suffered 15 dead and 69 wounded in action.
They also discovered 500 IEDs of which 62 detonated. (ANI)