Well-off to be held accountable: Sultanzoyi
KABUL (PAN): Presidential contender Daoud Sultanzoyi has said he will implement country’s law irrespective of one’s social standing and hold well-off accountable if he wins the upcoming elections.
In his exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, the presidential runner chalked out his future plan and policy regarding peace initiative with militants, signing of the vital Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with the US and other issues pertaining to country’s future.
He promised to introduce tangible reforms in a move to win the favour and support of people and restore their confidence if he won the presidential ballots.
Administrative corruption has paralyzed good governance, economic reliance, supremacy of law and the dream of strong democratic institutions, he observed.
Criticizing President Hamid Karzai’s rule, he said Afghanistan had lost brilliant chances during the last 13 years to stabilize national institutions.
“Administrative corruption has reached to its peak. The government has closed its eyes to resolve people’s problems. Senior and high government officials have spent their times by minting money,” he alleged.
Absence of supremacy of law, administrative corruption and insecurity were among major problems, which forced people to stay away from building the nation and country, he added.
He said there was huge trust deficit and gap between government and people and the latter were not ready to trust the government anymore.
Growing injustices and lawlessness forced him to contest the presidential elections in larger interest of the people of the country, he remarked.
During the interview, he explained his future plans with regard of good governance, security, economic policy, education, higher education and foreign policy.
If he succeeds in the polls, he will start implementing law of the land on himself and then on everyone irrespective while the rich people will be held accountable as how they accumulated the wealth, he promised.
“We will question wealthy people how they amassed such a huge amount of money. We will hold accountable officials from high to lower ranks. We will build close coordination among various institutions,” he added.
His government would primarily believe on punishment and reward in larger interests of the country and nation, he added.
In the backdrop of Bonn Conference held in 2001, some government departments possess immense power or are empowered, which is among one of the reason contributing to the current state of lawlessness.
Power sharing balance will be maintained among all state institutions to run the affairs of the government smoothly, he said, adding unequal power and authority lead the country to witness chaos and uncertainty.
He said Afghans were disappointed because of the ill performance of government institutions amid growing injustice who said people had comparatively more soft corner for militants.
In some instances, he said, government spending on security was unnecessary who promised to invest more on social security and people would be persuaded to back and support their security forces.
Sultanzoyi promised to introduce new faces and form a competent team of his government to navigate the country on path to political, economic and social development and eternal progress.
He alleged the incumbent government only encouraged rampant corruption, bribe, nepotism, favouritism, mismanagement, which had no capability to tackle the menace of widespread corruption and lawlessness in the war- weary society.
The next president and his team should have a leading and single vision to ensure speedy progress of the country in multifaceted areas, he said.
Criticizing the sitting government, he said the opposition members enjoyed government portfolios on the one hand while on the other, they had differences with the incumbent president on various issues.
Pointing toward good governance, he believed masses would not lend their support to the government unless their trust on the government was not restored in terms of their safety, economic and social security.
Once elected, he vowed to create a power sharing environment among various state institutions to move the country on path to progress, prosperity and stability.
The government should have the ability to provide security and ensure good governance simultaneously, he added.
Peace talks with Taliban:
Outlining his strategy on the crucial issue of peace talks with insurgents, he said peace could not be restored through the use of force, adding neither the government nor the militants could win the ongoing fight.
He blamed both the government and the Taliban for the current state of fighting and unending conflict in the country.
“I will leave no stone unturned to restore peace in the country. I will travel to the nook and corner of the country if Taliban invite him for talks in a move to arrest peace and tranquility in Afghanistan,” he pledged.
Expressing his disagreement the way the Taliban rule, he noted Afghanistan was home to different ethnicities where everyone had his/her right to live in a peaceful environment.
He said the people of Afghanistan had rejected all kind of dictatorship and wanted to put the country on path to progress and prosperity.
Sincere approach and efforts were needed to establish durable peace in the country, he said, adding the current peace process was a failed attempt because the foreigners were heading the peace move.
The upcoming government should form a team of dedicated and committed individuals and appointed men of principles on key posts in a move to achieve rapid economic growth and ensure peace and stability, he remarked.
Close coordination between government and people was mandatory, which would strengthen the country and the nation in the long run, he noted.
He said the upcoming government should introduce a gigantic employment schemes and multiply education opportunities for the nation who said the move would help win the favour and support of masses and discourage their sympathies with Taliban.
Iran, Pakistan and India had turned Afghanistan into a battle ground for their personal interests and rivalries, he said, adding he would prove through his actions that peaceful and stable Afghanistan was in their as well as world’s interests..
He would project Afghanistan as a hub of regional economic activities rather than a sanctuary for insurgents.
Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA):
Referring to the contentious issue of BSA, he termed the vital pact as a prime need for Afghanistan as multi-dimensional problems were threatening the country’s progress and stability.
Afghanistan had witnessed immense destruction of its infrastructure and institutions in the past decades, he remarked.
Afghanistan has now the ability to achieve economic growth and its armed forces had the capabilities to face internal and external threats diligently, he added.
After the departure of foreign forces, Taliban should have no reason to fight and the ongoing war should be ended, he noted.
Training and equipment of Afghan security forces:
Afghan security forces should be equipped with modern technologies, which were needed for economic and political stability of the country, he added.
The incumbent government has no strategy to maintain national security, he said, adding the people of Afghanistan are unaware about their national security.
It would be unjust to spend all resources on security forces because the nation was in dire need of social security, he added.
He said Afghan National Army (ANA) should maintain strong defense line and restrain from arm race with neighbouring countries.
Afghanistan’s neighbours went nuclear long before and it will be difficult for the country to compete or enter into an arms race with its neighbouring states, he remarked.
He underlined the need to ensure better administration and better defense of the country, saying the duties and responsibilities of security agencies should be identified and interference in each other affairs should be halted.
The ANA should be equipped with latest technology particularly to better prepare its air force in the wake of emerging challenges, he noted.
He said rule of law was a panacea to eliminate and get rid of growing corruption and stringent measures were needed to be chalked out to discourage administrative corruption.
The judiciary and attorney offices should be made transparent institutions in a move to ensure transparency and fairness, he said, questioning if these two were involved in corruption than how could they investigate corruption of other departments and individuals.
He went on to say that people and private sectors had responsibility to extend their all out cooperation to remove corruption and injustices from the society.
Importing low quality goods, hoarding and inflation were among some reasons providing basis to corruption that exists in private sector, he revealed.
If government work out in tandem and introduce strict measures then the private sector could not dare to adopt corrupt practices, he said.
Economic development and generating employment opportunities:
Linking economy development to bolstered security, Sultanzoyi said his top priority would be to ensure economic stability in the country.
He said a large amount of resources were being spent on security forces which was diverting investment from social security sector, resulting in unemployment and halting of development activities.
Economic prosperity of the people would indirectly win their support for the country’s security forces, he said, adding ways would be explored to generate more and more opportunities for the masses.
He identified economic revival of Afghanistan in three broad parts such as emergency, short term and long term.
Referring to emergency economic stability, he said stability and putting the country ailing agriculture sector on advance lines with building small dams would ensure economic stability. Afghanistan was needed to utilize its water resources in a proper way to bolster agriculture sector.
The youth of Afghanistan would be provided with employment opportunities within the country who would be trained in the field of information technology. The trained manpower, he said would be able to find job opportunities in Gulf States.
The rich mine sector of the country offers vast opportunity to stabilize the country’s economy, he said, promising he would work out a comprehensive strategy to stop illegal excavation in a nonprofessional way and the smuggling of Afghanistan mine field.
He assured to develop the precious stones and gold demining industries and would facilitate the sector with latest technology for the rapid progress of the country.
He said transparency would be kept supreme in awarding mining contracts to companies where investors would be offered facilities to invest in the sector.
Referring to the vital education sector, he said educated class was the precious assets for the country and nation who promised each and every Afghans would be provided with quality education opportunity.
He said though a large number of youth had been getting education in various institutions but progress could not be achieved due to low quality of education.
Increase in number of universities is not a remedy for bolstering literacy rate, he said, adding there was need to enhance the quality of education in the country.
Afghanistan was in dire need of professional teachers in medical, law, economic, agriculture, engineering, information technology and automobile sectors, he noted.
Afghanistan was rich in natural resources, which could be better utilized for greater development of the country but mismanagement and corruption paralyzed national institutions.
He said a very meager portion of government revenue was being deposited to the national exchequer while a lion share disappeared who said that national revenue would surge to 40% if corruption and mismanagement were controlled.
The repatriation of Afghan refugees would contribute to the stability of Afghanistan as many youth were leaving the country because of instability and lawlessness, he remarked.
He promised to create employment opportunities for the refugees in agriculture and handicraft fields.
Once hi wins, he would ink an agreement with counties including Pakistan and Iran for gradual repatriation of Afghan refugees.
Referring to his foreign police, he said foreign policy was playing a highly significant role to decide the future course of any country. The foreign policy of small and developing states need immense skill and better administration to guarantee the success of a particular country, he added.
“Good neighbourly relations are of high importance for me. We need to explain our stance on various issue for a better understanding with neighbouring countries,” he noted.
He said Afghanistan neighbours--- Pakistan and India--- were in dire need of energy and raw material and his country could provide them a rout to meet their demands.
“Afghanistan transit route is our precious source and we cannot ignore this vital path,” he added.
He said stability in Afghanistan was vital for economic progress of neighbouring countries, who said people should realize that economically backward Afghanistan was not in the interest of the region.
“Mutual respect will be a hallmark of my foreign policy,” he concluded.
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