Youth seek peace roadmap
Ahead of the Chicago Summit, slated for May 20-21, the Afghanistan Young Leaders Initiative, an apolitical group, urged the parties concerned to chart short-term and long-term strategies for peace.
“It is for the Afghanistan government and the international community to provide a clear vision for both the Afghan people and their domestic constituencies for the post-2014 period in Afghanistan,” said a statement from the movement.
The youth initiative believes that success in Afghanistan could be ensured primarily through safeguarding the common achievements made in the past ten years, which has come through tremendous sacrifices of blood and treasure.
In order to prevent Afghanistan from becoming once against a hub for international terrorism and regional rivalry they want international community to properly equip Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), a crucial element for lasting security, also an essential precondition for economic development.
“Given that we live in unstable region, Afghanistan requires a military of an appropriate size, throughout the “transformation decade” (2015-2024). It should also be noted that a remarkable and sudden reduction in ANSF would leave a huge number of trained soldiers unemployed, which adds to our vulnerability to further ethnic and political tensions,” said the statement.
In addition, the NATO forces should continue their counter-insurgency efforts throughout the transformation decade and these operations should not be limited to Afghan boundaries alone.
“The issue of sanctuaries has to be handled before the US combat role is ended in Afghanistan in 2014. Targeting the leadership of Al-Qaeda and the Taliban in their safe havens regardless of its geographical location through intelligence with high momentum,” added the statement.
The upcoming 2014 Presidential election requires security arrangements, which in the immediate term seems beyond the capabilities of the ANSF unless the insurgency is quelled through a political settlement.
Therefore, to ensure free, fair and transparent election and also a test case for the ANSF’s capabilities, the presence of international forces is essential to safeguard the election process.
“The impartiality and professionalism of the Afghan security forces should been ensured to avoid politicisation in the ranks of ANSF for the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections,” it added.
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