The UK should not withdraw its troops from the Afghanistan frontline before the stipulated 2014 deadline, says Afghanistan Army head brigadier general Sheren Shah.

The Daily Telegraph has quoted him as saying: "If the British leave, in my personal opinion, this will have a negative effect on security.

"So we need the international community, especially British influence, for longer. I cannot say for how many years but a number of years," Shah added.

Currently, there are around 9,500 British troops in Afghanistan including Special Forces, and the draw down will take place in stages.

Britain’s two infantry battalions have been mentoring and providing training to Afghanistan personnel.

Afghanistan will soon be taking control of 17 provinces in the second phase of handover.