Need for better use of aid underlined
KABUL (PAN): Political analysts say the Afghan government should ensure constructive utilisation of aid pledges held out at the second Bonn Conference that concluded yesterday in Germany, with delegates promising to keep supporting the war-hit nation beyond 2014.
Attended by delegates from 85 countries and 14 international organisations, the summit focused on the transfer of security responsibilities from international troops to Afghan security forces during the next three years, long-term prospects for international aid and a possible political settlement with the Taliban.
President Hamid Karzai told the conference his country would require $10 billion a year in outside assistance for at least a decade beyond 2014 to maintain new army and police forces and to keep the government functioning.
Political analyst Moeen Mrastyal viewed the meeting as a great achievement for Afghanistan, which faced a number of challenges. He said the meeting drew the world's attention to the real problems the country had been faced with.
He said the declaration reflected the expectations of Afghans that the international community would not abandon them again. Conditional outside assistance was needed to be used in a proper way to enable the country to stand on its own feet, he stressed.
The expert alleged Afghanistan had failed to take advantage of such pledges made at previous gatherings due to bad governance and lack of capacity. The rulers should avail the chance as a remedy for overcoming shortcomings and resolve problems through good governance and the rule of law, he opined.
"We should not expect another gathering like the one in Bonn, where the international community will extend support for another decade," he remarked.
Another political commentator, Ahmad Saeedi, said it was indeed good news for Afghans that the international community had agreed to support Afghanistan for another 10 years. Aid could prove useful if used intelligently and the conditions met.
"Afghanistan has so far been unable to come up to the expectations of the international community. But this time around, the government will hopefully do something better," he said.
Kabul University teacher, Nasrullah Stanikzai, said all demands presented by the Afghan government at the Bonn Conference had been considered. He believed a stable and prosperous Afghanistan needed continued cooperation from the global fraternity.
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