Dr. Ghani promises strict rule of law
KABUL (PAN): Top presidential contender Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai says, if elected, he will ensure implementation of rule of law and update the nation on the performance of his governance every six months.
“I will appoint 15,000 individuals, including elders, religious scholars and youth to closely monitor the performance of my government and report corruption, administrative negligence and inefficiency of government employees,” he said.
In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, Ashraf Ghani spoke of short- and long-term strategies to help resolve the problems being faced by the Afghans. He hoped his strategies would yield tangible results.
He would accelerate measures to eradicate the prevailing sense of injustice from society and introduce administrative reforms, with inefficient and incompetent officials being replaced by dedicated and committed officers.
“I will strive to generate around a million jobs, provide homes for 500,000 government and nongovernment employees. My government will take steps to ensure protection of foreign and local investments, which will encourage and spur businesses in the country,” he vowed.
Referring to security, he said measures would be pondered for a complete withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan -- a main demand of armed opposition groups -- if elections were conducted in a peaceful and transparent manner.
After winning the presidential polls, he vowed to explore ways of bringing peace and stability to the country, he said, adding he would hold parlays with the armed opposition, including Hezb-e-Islami Afghanistan (HIA) and Taliban, and would accept their legitimate demands.
“I will eliminate the scourge of corruption from all government institutions. The cases of all prisoners will be reevaluated within six months,” he pledged.
He intended to serve the country and had no desire to amass wealth as president of Afghanistan, he said when asked why he had jumped into the presidential race in the prevailing situation.
He had both conceptual and practical knowledge of governance, having worked as finance and higher education minister and head of the security transition commission. He has also carried out international assignments.
He said it was high time to serve the nation and country, adding he would strive hard to put the country on path to durable peace, progress, prosperity and stability. “I am born in Afghanistan and this country elevated me to a high caliber. Now, it is my turn to pay back my country.”
Referring to growing corruption and insecurity, he said the country direly needed a man of principle, dedication and commitment to steer Afghanistan out of problems.
“Afghanistan needs professional individuals to resolve complicated problems in almost every sector such as economy, governance, security and other agriculture,” he added.
Swift justice would be a priority for his government and he would implement law himself before applying it to other citizens. He will appoint competent and dedicated officials with a brilliant record to key government posts to ensure good governance and eradicate corruption.
“I will not compromise national interests. I intend to pursue a policy of national unity and tolerance,” he noted, promising steps to remove ethnic differences and usher in an era of reward and punishment.
The sacrifices being offered by the country’s security forces would be rewarded and measures would be introduced to stop media from baseless muckraking, he said, explaining he would welcome positive criticism.
“I know Afghans are facing a host of problems and there are tangible solutions to them. So, in my view, the settlement of all these problems will take time,” he remarked.
His future plans and agenda would revolve around four salient features: peace, justice, economic stability and good governance. He said lasting peace was a prerequisite to achieve durable progress in all fields of life.
Collective efforts would be made to pave way for eternal peace in Afghanistan, he said, adding that strong support of the masses would put the government and country on path to progress and prosperity.
Referring to speedy justice, he expressed concern over the growing violation of human rights in the country who promised stringent reforms would be brought to protect citizens of the country.
Efforts would be made to ensure speedy justice in the country, he said, adding that active support of the masses would be direly needed to ensure speedy justice in the country.
“Economic stability will be my third priority. We will build houses for around 500,000 individuals and create jobs for 1,000,000 individuals. We will introduce measures to protect local as well as foreign investment in the country. Funds will be allocated for different development projects,” he noted.
He said 40% of country’s budget would be spent on development projects in rural areas, villages and districts who said law would be introduced for the election of mayor.
“Moreover, duties and powers of governors will be identified as per country’s constitution,” he added.
On the crucial subject of good governance, he said to introduce administrative reforms in a move to ensure good governance, with ministers would be strictly advised to keep in close coordination with the people.
In addition, he said separate committees would be constituted for a firm check on economy and law following the constitution of Afghanistan.
Each of the committee would be in close coordination with the concerned ministry, which would provide greater impetus to nation building process, he remarked.
Also, “my plans include the provision of more facilities and work opportunities for Afghans,” he assured.
The role of Ulema and scholars was vital to ensure fast-paced development and progress of the country, he said, adding that since last 150 years mosques and various governments had some sort of differences.
“Afghanistan has 175,000 mosques and 400,000 religious scholars. We will address the genuine problems of Ulema and use mosques as a focal point for social integration and strengthening of mutual trust,” he added.
He said the capital Kabul would be developed on modern lines, which was turning into a congested and polluted city. Kabul would be turned into a modern city and one of the developed and beautiful cities, he promised.
He said military would be organized to face the opponents with modern warfare techniques, adding his peace had three main focus points, including national, regional and international.
In the first stage, “we need to convince our misguided Afghan brothers to shun violence and start leading a normal life. If the opponents cannot be convinced then they will be isolated,” he added.
In addition, legitimate and genuine demands of armed opposition groups would be considered thoroughly in a move to avoid further bloodshed of Afghans.Ashraf Ghani
Referring to HIA chief Gulbadin Hekmatyar’s demand for free and fair elections, the presidential hopeful welcomed the statement and urged him to participate in the upcoming ballot in the larger national interests.
He said that ties would be enhanced with neighbouring countries and the regional states would be convinced that Afghanistan should not be turned into a ground for their personal rivalries.
“The regional countries should know that regional peace is the panacea for economic growth of any country that’s why Afghanistan wants neighbouring countries to help maintain peace and stability in Afghanistan,” he added.
He said assistance of international community was direly needed for sustainable growth and peace of Afghanistan who said his country was needed international community economic support for five more years.
He said the people of Afghanistan suffered a lot because of continuous conflict and war who wanted durable peace in their country.
Every party should keep the interests of Afghanistan supreme over their personal interests, he said, adding there was dire need to avert further bloodshed of innocent Afghan men and women.
“We need to demonstrate capabilities to undertake the security of the country after the international troops’ withdrawal from the country,” he remarked.
He said Afghanistan would not need the presence of foreign forces after establishment of sustainable peace in the country who said there was renewed zeal to develop mutual consensus and holding of free and fair elections.
The presidential runner said he studied the history thoroughly and about the peace efforts from 1991 to 2004 who said he had written article on the current Syrian civil war.
In this context, he said a strategy had already in his mind how to bring peace and stability to Afghanistan.
“The betrayed and misguided involved in the bloodshed of innocent Afghans cannot be called brothers. President Hamid Karzai had called Taliban as brother who responded with suicide bombings,” he added.
The Afghan National Army (ANA), police and other security agencies would be strictly directed to ensure safety of citizens once he was elected as president, he said, adding he would initiate tangible peace process with militants.
The Afghan militants cannot be deprived of their citizenship, he said, adding national consensus and integration policy was the only way forward to resolve pressing problems amicably.
On administrative corruption, he said corruption had gained deep roots in almost all walks of life and he would appoint committed persons and men of principles for each government position.
A commission for institutional reforms would work under his guidance, he said, adding first the commission would be reformed itself and those who made their ways into government jobs through nepotism would not be allowed to work.
Steps would be taken to facilitate the refugees by the commission and create more job opportunities for skilled manpower, he said, adding investment would be encouraged in the country.
Transparency would be kept supreme at all cost in all state institutions, he said, adding state institutions would be overhauled in a move to explore more opportunities for country’s youth.
“I will form ten committees, which will be headed by a head and I will be their overall head. I will ask the concerned officials to present him with daily security report. The authorities concerned will be held accountable for any traffic jam, tanker torching incidents and passengers face problems. I will personally monitor through a television set the Kabul’s traffic overflow,” he added.
He said traffic logjam was taking place in front of the Education Ministry where passengers wait for an hour or two because of mess created by roadside stalls, pushcarts and cars.
Common people on the street should assume responsibility to help improve in smooth traffic flow, he noted.
He would streamline and make transparent the procedure for issuing of national identity cards and passports and the citizens would get their legal documents within a prescribe time.
Large scale corruption in development projects would be discouraged through tangible reforms, he added.
Land grabbing is another major problem of people who said growing incident of land grabbing was taking place because of government negligence.
He said mines smuggling would be strictly checked after winning the presidential race as thousands of tons of chromites was being smuggled from the country’s rich mines.
Chromites processing factories will be established in Paktia or Paktika provinces which will have the capacity to process 400 tons of chromites. Ports will also be established in all border provinces of Afghanistan in order to avoid smuggling, he noted.
Ministry of Justice and Department of Attorney will be given the task to indicate corruption and ensure rule of law in the country.
Thousands of Afghans men and women have been languishing in Pul-i-Charkhi and other prisons of the country’s 34 provinces, he said, pledging he would resolve their cases within six months.
He said women were in miserable condition in jails and the president had the authority to take an immediate decision over their fate.
Afghanistan would enjoy sustainable economic growth once he was elected president, adding he would implement economic panacea the way Singapore, Malaysia and South Korea brought economic reforms in their countries.
Vocational training in different fields with small loans would be offered in different fields for the welfare of common people, he added.
When asked how he would convince a voter Samiullah--- to cast his vote in his favour, the presidential contender said he had a gigantic plan to create job opportunities for around 1 million Afghans who said he believed on greater peace in the country.
“I am sure I can ensure peace in the country. I can usher an era of good governance and I am familiar with each and every part of the country. I was travelling in a car in Helmand at a time when people could not travel in a flight even,” he added.
He was well aware about the problems and issues being faced by common people in Helmand, which was a rich region and had the capacity to turn economic hub not only for Afghanistan but the entire Gulf region.
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