UN hears call for ‘Afghan-ization’ of military, development processes

24 September 2008

Afghan ownership of its military, police and development operations are essential to allow the country to counter terrorism and further its reconstruction efforts, the South Asian nation’s President told the General Assembly’s high-level segment today.

Afghan ownership of its military, police and development operations are essential to allow the country to counter terrorism and further its reconstruction efforts, the South Asian nation’s President told the General Assembly’s high-level segment today.

Since addressing the body last year, “my country Afghanistan has grappled with a number of important challenges, none more troubling than the problem of international terrorism,” Hamid Karzai said. “Terrorist forces have significantly increased their attacks and brutality and enjoyed freedom in their sanctuaries.”

He pointed to terrorists’ “growing reach” as evidenced by recent attacks, including last weekend’s attack on the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, the bombing of the Indian Embassy in Kabul and attacks in the Indian cities of Bangalore and Ahmedabad.

The “Afghan-ization of the military operations is vital if the problem of civilian casualties is to be addressed effectively,” since they “seriously undermine the legitimacy of fighting terrorism and the credibility of the Afghan people’s partnership with the international community,” the President said.

The battle against terrorism will only succeed if the local population is able to tackle it, Mr. Karzai noted, stressing the importance of fostering the country’s economic growth and development.

“Much like the security sector, Afghan-ization of the development process is not just to the goal of ensuring ownership but also the effective implementation of our development strategy,” he said, calling on the global donors for its assistance to boost aid effectiveness and the United Nations for its help in coordinating the international’s community in Afghanistan’s development and state-building efforts.

The Afghan President said that the country’s reconstruction is under way. “Today our people are more educated, healthier, better off, and more optimistic about their future,” with double digit growth in its economy boosting the standard of living for its people, he said.

Earlier this week, the Security Council voted unanimously to extend the mission of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan for another year and called for it to be strengthened in the face of increased violence and terrorism from the Taliban, Al-Qaida and drug smugglers.

The nearly 50,000-strong force was created after United States-led forces ousted the Taliban regime in late 2001 to help the then-interim authorities maintain security across the impoverished nation.

 

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Citing rising terrorism, UN extends Afghan security force for another year

The United Nations Security Council today unanimously extended the mission of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan for another year and called for it to be strengthened in the face of increased violence and terrorism from the Taliban, Al-Qaida and drug smugglers.