Afghan president Hamid Karzai has said his forces will soon take charge of security in seven areas around the country, the first step towards his goal of having Afghan police and soldiers protecting the entire nation by the end of 2014. In a speech in Kabul, Karzai said control of the provincial capitals of Lashkar Gah in southern Afghanistan, Herat in the west, Mazer-e-Sharif in the north and Mehterlam in the east is to be transferred from Nato-led forces to Afghan soldiers and police from July. In addition, all of Bamiyan and Panshir provinces, which have had little to no fighting, are on the transition list. Also lined up for transition is Kabul province, except for the restive Surobi district, which straddles a main route to the Pakistan border and near dangerous areas of neighbouring provinces, he said. "The Afghan nation doesn't want the defence of this country to be in the hands of others any more," Karzai told hundreds of dignitaries and Afghan police and soldiers at the National Military Academy of Afghanistan in the capital. He struck a nationalistic chord in his speech, which was peppered with criticism of the international effort. Karzai said the transition process would expand from the capitals to the provinces. "This is our responsibility to raise our flag with honour and pride," he said.