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Rule of law a panacea to militancy: Amin Arsala

Rule of law a panacea to militancy: Amin Arsala

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Jan 20, 2014 - 08:38

KABUL (Pajhwok): Presidential contender Hidayat Amin Arsala says good governance, rule of law and speedy dispensation of justice tend to discourage the scourge of growing militancy and instability in Afghanistan.

In his exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News he promised to ensure sustainable economic growth, rule of law, speedy justice and attract foreign and local investment with the support of masses once he won the presidential ballots.: Amin Arsala

The presidential hopeful said he would rule in way which would have no reason for militants to fight a useless war in Afghanistan anymore.

“We need to transform the militants’ agenda of insurgency into development and progress of Afghanistan through good governance. Afghans are peace loving people and weary of war and fighting. They want development and prosperity in the country,” Arsala added.

“Times is not far when militants will surrender their weapons and shun violence of their own once we bring some sort of durable development and build our shattered economy in Afghanistan,” he said.

Referring to the bilateral security agreement (BSA) between Kabul and Washington, he said conditions for signing the vital pact were the collective demand of Afghans; however, the agreement was in larger interests of country.

Serious efforts were needed for holding result-oriented talks with Taliban, he said, adding that the nascent peace process would take time and could not be finalized in months.

The presidential runner went on to say if Taliban continued to insists upon complete withdrawal of foreign troops then the militants should wait for another ten years.

Taliban seemed to have softened their stance regarding the complete withdrawal of international forces from Afghanistan, he said, adding that the 2014 would see multiple changes in the country in terms of militants groups’ tactics and other developments.

He broadly talked about his future plans with special reference on governance, security pact with the US, economic development, education, foreign policy and current situation of the country.

Talented and professional individuals would be adjusted on key and relevant government positions---a move that would help cease corruption--- he added.

“Every Afghan wants to serve the country. And I am Afghan and want to contribute to the progress, prosperity and development of my country even in hard times. When Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan I was working at the World Bank (WB). I prompted to quit my job and join Mujahideen ranks for the freedom of my country. Now, I have decided to serve Afghanistan and to help resolve problems of my people,” he noted.

The next president of Afghanistan should be an experienced person, committed and patriotic, he added.

Talking about his priorities, he said: “We need to identify our problems and then chalk out a broad strategy to resolve them. We need to tighten our security, stabilize economy and ensure good governance in all government institutions.”

The equipment of Afghan security forces would be among his top priorities after winning the elections, he said, adding that he had in his mind to introduce measures for the social security of Afghan citizens.

He said weak economy, growing corruption and absence of dispensation of speedy justice were among factors contributing to lawlessness and insecurity and there was dire need to work with tandem to ameliorate things.

Most of the foreign troops would leave Afghanistan by the end of this year while the remaining would train Afghan security forces, he said, adding that talks with Taliban were essential as wars were finally ended through negotiations.

He expressed optimism Taliban would join peace talks and the country could then be put back on track to achieve progress and prosperity.

On singing the security pact with the US, he said BSA was in larger interests of Afghanistan and representatives of the people of Afghanistan had already favored the agreement during the consultative Loya Jirga formed on the advice of president to discuss the pact.

“The sitting government should not delay signing the vital security pact,” he urged.

Peace was not in the hands of the US alone, he said, adding that Afghans and their neighboring countries had huge responsibilities on their shoulder for brining durable peace and stability to Afghanistan.

He said building pressure on the US to ensure prompt peace in Afghanistan would not yield any results and time would be needed to revive peace even if it was in the hands of the US.

Criticized President Hamid Karzai who said peace was in the hands of the US, the presidential hopeful said those were Karzai’s personal views because the US contributed immensely to the progress and development of Afghanistan.

He would better equipped the nascent Afghan security forces particularly the country’s air force and he would strive to generate more revenues locally to enhance the professionalism of his country’s security forces.  

Corruption was among the big problem being faced by the nation which was crippling the very root of the country, he said, adding that strategy had finalized to tackle the menace once and from all.

“My government will ensure provision of best services to the masses and to introduce advance technology in the country,” he pledged.

He said red tapeism would not be allowed because it would eventually lead to corruption and delay in work procedures and efforts would be made to make the process of license and passport.

Talking about his priorities, he said that elimination of corruption from entire government institutions, increasing the salaries of low paid staff and educational curriculum would be transformed in a move to meet the current challenges.

When asked what would be his strategy keeping in view his broad experience as he worked in the capacity of former finance minister, he said  the economic stability of Afghanistan was linked to the development of agriculture, mining, tourism and the entire infrastructure which would attract foreign investment.

“We need to build dams and energy reservoirs which will go a long way for sustainable economic growth of the country,” he added.

Exploration of natural resources would contribute to the strengthening of national economy development and his government would leave no stone unturned to take practical measures to carry out a transparent way for the extraction of mines.

Unfortunately, corruption and illegal demining had caused immense loss to the mine sector during the last decade, he said, adding that the procedure of awarding mining contracts would be made transparent once he was elected president of Afghanistan.

Referring to the vital education sector, he said education played a significant role in the progress and prosperity of a country and he would ensure that every child attended school.

Steps would be taken to improve the quality of education, he said, adding that the number of universities had witnessed surge and their quality was low and needed to be enhanced.

While asked about funds for the implementation of his programs, he said Afghanistan direly needed the financial assistance of international community for some time then his country would start generating revenue of its own.

On BSA, he said the inking of the security pact with the US was important for continues flow of international aid to Afghanistan.

 

Referring to the contentious refugees’ issue, he promised the repatriation of refugees would be among his top priorities and his government would make stringent efforts to ensure their repatriation in a respectable way.

Working opportunities and shelters would be provided for the refugees at home, he said, pledging that health and education facilities would be provided to the refugees.

When asked about his foreign policy and relations with the neighbors and the US, he said: “We want cordial relations with our neighbours and the world community. We will give priority to broaden our ties with the US and European Union (EU) countries.: Amin Arsala

Afghanistan is an independent country--- a fact known to the US and neighboring countries--- he said that his relations with other states would be based on mutual trust and respect.

“Some people with their vested interest want to push the country into ethnic differences and we will not allow such efforts to be successful in Afghanistan once he is elected president of the country,” he remarked.

He criticized President Hamid Karzai for what he alleged the president’s compromising stance on several issues.

Justice should be dispensed to the victims of three decades long war and those should be given exemplary punishment that violated human rights, he stressed.

nh/rm

 

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