KABUL (AFP) - Afghanistan began handing responsibility for security from Nato soldiers to its own troops on Sunday, igniting a process designed to leave the country free of international combat forces by 2014. Seven parts of the country will be transitioned over the week and could take up to two years to complete, but analysts and parliamentarians have expressed great doubts over the switch. Nato is also playing down the significance amid widespread concerns over the ability of Afghan security forces to ward off the Taliban. A ceremony was held in Bamyan police headquarters today to mark the official transition of responsibilities from foreign forces to Afghan forces, said interior ministry spokesman Siddiq Siddiqi. The relatively peaceful central mountainous province of Bamyan is a devoutly anti-Taliban area populated by the ethnic Hazara minority and home to two sixth century Buddhist statues that were blown up by the militia during their brutal reign. With Western allies tiring of the long war, all foreign combat troops are due to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014 and partial drawdowns are starting this summer, with the 33,000 US surge troops leaving by the end of 2012. There are around 150,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan, nearly 100,000 of whom are from the United States, fighting the nearly 10-year war. Western officials say the whole process in the seven areas - which include the cities of Mazar-i-Sharif, Herat and Lashkar Gah would be closely monitored. Transition is a process and its a condition-based process thats entering its implementation phase, said one Nato official who would not give his name. Isaf and the Afghan government will regularly monitor to ensure enough progress so that transition can be completed. Playing down expectations as Afghans take control, he added: Nothing will change the day before and the day after... The real efforts will be seen towards the end. (The government is) acknowledging that the international community is withdrawing gradually and they need to tidy up their own house and thats what theyre doing. Siddiqi said the Bamyan ceremony was attended by the head of the national transition committee, former finance minister Ashraf Ghani, along with national ministers of interior, defence and public works. The deputy head of Afghanistans intelligence agency also attended, along with the New Zealand ambassador to Kabul, representing his troops who have been based in the area. The Afghan officials expressed their preparedness to step up their efforts to ensure security in the province and implement more development projects, said Siddiqi. But high levels of illiteracy and attrition among the army and police, and no visible signs of change in many of the seven areas, have made many sceptical of the process, particularly in the still-restive areas of Lashkar Gah in southern Helmand, and Mehtar Lam in the east. Transition is propaganda. There is a big war going on in Helmand so how can you transition? If Nato leaves Helmand, everything will be in a mess in just one day, said deputy speaker of parliament and a fierce government critic, Ahmad Behzad. Its not clear for us what they do after transition. Earlier this month, the head of the UN mission in Afghanistan, Steffan de Mistura, said that security was improving in the war-torn country, making it a good time to begin the transfers, which will start everywhere by mid-2013. Transition: its like a train and its moving forward. According to every indicator I have, it is on track, the top UN envoy to Afghanistan said. But there have been several major attacks so far this summer, with the presidents half-brother assassinated in his Kandahar home on Tuesday, and a recent brazen Taliban attack at a top Kabul hotel that left 21 people dead. Afghans are really afraid of the time when transition is over and theyre left to their own devices. Nobody really believes the state is capable, said Thomas Ruttig, senior analyst at Kabul-based Afghanistan Analysts Network.