‘The role that India played should be played by other countries as well—to send help, not send bombs’


PRANAB Dhal Samanta: You put a lot of emphasis on the economy and on investments, specifically from India. But one big deterrent to investment is the unpredictability in the security environment.

Shaida M. Abdali: As I said earlier, the transition process is based strictly on Afghanistan's capacity. We are doing much better than we were under foreign troops. Second, we have partnership commitments from all over the world that Afghanistan is not going to be abandoned in 2014. We already have a transformation decade, from 2014 up to 2024. We already have $16 billion dollars committed at the Tokyo Conference. We have a 10-year annual commitment to our security forces—NATO has committed $4.1 billion—that will be spent on training. All of these measures have been agreed upon. Based on our present benchmarks and those to be achieved in the year and a half left, we are full of confidence. Up to 2024, we have commitments—political, economic and on the security front.

SHUBHAJIT Roy: You have been with President Karzai for 10 years. Not many people in the Afghan government know him as well as you do. How has he evolved as a leader and where does he see his role in the future?

Shaida M. Abdali: He is a man of the people. He relies on the common person. That is one of his best qualities. He is a man of consultation. Whatever position he has on international issues and national issues, comes from the people. He always consults the people and then takes a decision. So that is how he has evolved into understanding Afghanistan, what Afghanistan needs and how Afghanistan should go ahead. His role in the future is to leave a great legacy—a legacy of nationhood, of strength and of a strong democracy. I have no reason to doubt that we will have a successful transition. He is consulting the people on how he can ensure another good round of elections.

... contd.

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