Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, October 20th, 2017

Ghani Promises Election Security, Country’s Self-Reliance

Ghani Promises  Election Security, Country’s Self-Reliance

KABUL - President Ashraf Ghani on Thursday praised the valor and sacrifices of the Afghan forces in defending their country and promised efforts at ensuing security of next year’s elections and making Afghanistan self-reliant.
Addressing delegates attending the SOM summit in Kabul, Ghani stressed continued fight against corruption and said Afghanistan fought well against challenges it faced on political, security and economic fronts.
“But problems remain including drug trafficking that would be resolved by the government,” Ghani said, stressing professionalization and equipping of the Afghan forces. He vowed transparency in spending foreign aid in Afghanistan.
The SOM meeting beginning on Wednesday is being attended by Afghan officials, international and regional partners, representatives of key international organisations and civil society activists.
Representatives from more than 40 countries, international donors and the United Nations, Afghan cabinet ministers, heads of independent government organs, parliament members, representatives of civil society activists and the private sector attended the summit.
President Ghani, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Finance Minister Eklil Hakimi and UN secretary-general‘s special representative for Afghanistan, Tadamichi Yamamoto were among the attendees at the meeting titled ‘Self-Reliance Roadmap in Framework of Accountability’.
President Ghani thanked the international community for its continued support to Afghanistan, saying his government had been able to deal with many economic, security and political challenges during the past three years, significantly reducing the problems.
Three years back, he said, the international community started withdrawing their forces from Afghanistan and since the Afghan forces were able to deny the Taliban and their allies safe havens in the country.
After the Taliban failed to achieve their ominous goals, they carried out barbaric attacks against the people of Afghanistan and shed the bloods of a large number of Afghans including women and children, Ghani said.
He said the Afghan forces should receive more training and become more professional as well as would be equipped with advanced weapons.
Ghani said the economy of Afghanistan had been in trouble three years ago when he was elected as the president. The country’s economic growth fell from 10 percent to two percent that time and when foreign forces withdrew, the situation was critical, he added.  But the Afghan government was committed to rescuing the country from its economic crisis.
About developments in education, the president said enrolling girls in schools and educating women and girls was his government’s priority.
Currently millions of girls attended schools in Afghanistan, Ghani said, adding efforts at increasing national revenue had yielded results. He said the country’s customs were reformed and administrative and financial corruption reduced to some extent.
“I have promised to stabilize Afghanistan’s economy, the Ministry of Finance and Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB) with support of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have taken some steps in this regard,” the president said.
He said the Afghan government wanted to strengthen its business relations with the world and make Afghanistan a connection bridge between regional countries.
“There is significant capacity in investment in mining, agriculture, energy and other areas in Afghanistan,” he added. Developments have been made in attracting investment and promoting the private sector. Some laws have been prepared, some taxes were nullified and the license issuance process was simplified,” he said.
Ghani said foreign aid to Afghanistan was being spent transparently. His government was committed to holding Wolesi Jirga and provincial council elections next year and the presidential elections in 2019.
The president said transparency and highest world standards would be observed in the upcoming elections and some efforts in this regard had been made.
Ensuring security, fighting administrative corruption and law enforcement were main responsibilities of the government and problems in these areas should be responded by the government itself, he said.
He added steps were taken for eradication of corruption and the Afghan government had been able to investigate 300 corruption cases by creating the Anti-Corruption Justice Center (ACJC). Those found guilty in the cases were imprisoned, including senior security officials, he added.
The president said the National Anti-Corruption Strategy had been prepared and was currently in the implementation phase.
“We promise to the international community, the Afghan people and civil society institutes that we are decisive about fighting corruption,” he said.
He said the Citizen Charter program was implemented in the whole of the country and it was going ahead without facing any problem.
“Women are important part of this program,” said the president, who added some steps for countering narcotics had been taken but security problems hindered progress in this regard.
At the end of his speech, the president stressed institutionalization of democracy, enforcement of law equally on all and providing equal services to citizens of Afghanistan. (Pajhwok)