Ghani, Abdullah to keep promises: US envoy
WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): As Afghanistan prepares to enter a new phase post 9/11, all eyes are now on President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr Abdullah Abdullah, a senior Obama administration official told lawmakers on Wednesday.
“All eyes are now on President Ghani and CEO Abdullah to deliver on the promises of security, better governance, accountability and sustainable development goals," said the US deputy special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Jarret Blanc told legislators both men understood the enormous tasks with which they had been entrusted by the Afghan people. The media have focused on the challenges of the new government in naming ministers.
This is important, he noted. "At the same time, we should not allow this to distract us from the impressive start the government has made in actually governing.”
Looking at their track record of less than 10 weeks in office, he said it was clear President Ghani and CEO Abdullah intended to get things done and take concrete steps to improve democratic governance.
“I hope Ghani and Abdullah will have the opportunity in the near future to discuss their plans and their accomplishments themselves,” he added and listed out a series of steps taken by the new government.
He argued that president Ghani authorized the signing of the BSA and NATO SOFA the day after he was inaugurated, and he and Dr. Abdullah worked together closely to shepherd these crucial agreements through the two houses of parliament.
President Ghani announced the reopening of the Kabul Bank investigation, signaling an earnest desire to make good on the promise to hold accountable those who have enriched themselves at the expense of the Afghan people, he added.
In a welcome sign of progress in the region`s growing economic cooperation, earlier this month Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan finalized negotiations on power purchasing and master agreements for the CASA-1000 electricity transmission line project, the official said.
Combined with the Turkmenistan- Uzbekistan-Tajikistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan (TUTAP) regional electricity project, CASA-1000 and TUTAP would make real the idea of a regional energy market connecting South and Central Asia. These projects are important because Afghanistan`s economic future depends on improved connectivity with regional and international markets, he said.
To facilitate that broader goal, he said, the United States and Afghanistan had agreed to improve private sector links between the two countries by issuing visas that would be valid longer and would allow for multiple entries for eligible business travelers, students and tourists.
Blanc believed there was real potential for improving Afghanistan-Pakistan relations under the new government in Kabul, and it would be up to both countries to build on the initial goodwill generated through President Ghani`s visit to Islamabad and earlier visits by Pakistani officials to Kabul.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.