US Christians for responsible Afghan transition
“A responsible transition will require a strengthened civilian commitment by the United States and the international community to improve citizen participation, civil society capacity, accountability and good stewardship to promote development and good governance in Afghanistan and Pakistan,” Bishop Howard Hubbard, from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) said in a letter to the National Security Advisor, Tom Donilon.
“While the military drawdown will significantly reduce U.S. costs in Afghanistan and Pakistan, a comprehensive commitment to continued development is critical to long-term success,” Hubbard said in his letter to Donilon, which was released to the press in Thursday.
In his letter, Hubbard emphasized the importance of civil society participation and accountability in development and noted the need to factor in the structure of Afghan society in planning.
“The success and sustainability of the military drawdown will hinge upon a successful transition to Afghan leadership, much of which must be exercised at the local level given the decentralized nature of Afghan society,” he said
In the same letter, Bishop Hubbard expressed deep concern about religious freedom in Pakistan and urged the Administration to make it a major priority in US policy. “The failure to protect the religious freedom of all, especially minorities, and to build a pluralistic tolerant society emboldens fundamentalist terror groups,” he said.
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