Rassoul promises security, broad-based govt
KABUL (Pajhwok): Presidential runner Zalmai Rassoul on Monday said he would form a broad-based government and handle the issue of security with an iron fist if he won the April election.
Hitting the campaign trail, Rassoul told supporters that integrity, good governance and even-handed development were vital to Afghanistan’s stability. “Our way is not extremism; we believe in equality.”
The former foreign minister praised the performance of President Hamid Karzai, acknowledging he had played a vital role in uniting the Afghans -- a precedent he would also follow.
In case he won the electoral fray, Rassoul said, he would seriously deal with the people fuelling violence and insecurity. He added one of his vice-presidents was female and he would give 50 percent of Cabinet slots to women and youth.
His team, which had never been involved in corruption, was better-placed to combat the scourge, he claimed, promising media freedom in line with the country constitution.
Rassoul told neighbouring countries that peace in Afghanistan was in interest of the entire region.“We will let the armed opposition return and live in their homeland peacefully,” he said.
His choice for first vice-president, Ahmad Zia Massoud, said; “Unfortunately, one major cause of weak governance is lack of educated and professional individuals in the government.” He stressed education was essential for the development of a country.
Massoud said: "We need a dynamic society, with progress in all spheres of life. Unfortunately, the well-off people have done little for the country and that’s why our youth remain unemployed. "
Habiba Sarabi, Rassoul’s nominee for second vice-president, underlined the role of women in governance and other areas. “In this team, my role is not that of one individual. Instead I represent the entire women folk, a generation."
Formerly the only female governor of Afghanistan, she said one malady that crippled the country was maginalisation of women. Their marginal participation in political and economic fields meant they were a silent force in determining the country’s future, she remarked.
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