News / Asia

Afghans Reflect on Obama Win

Afghan journalist Abdul hai Warshan talks during an interview in front of cardboard cut-outs of U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney at the U.S. embassy in Kabul, November 7, 2012.
Afghan journalist Abdul hai Warshan talks during an interview in front of cardboard cut-outs of U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney at the U.S. embassy in Kabul, November 7, 2012.
Sharon Behn
As Americans celebrate the re-election of President Barack Obama, citizens in Afghanistan - a country deeply affected by U.S. policy - are expressing their feelings about the outcome.

Whether on the crowded morning streets of the capital, Kabul, or in the comfort of their homes in front of their televisions, many Afghans, like government employee Zakirullah Shershah, welcomed the president's victory.
 
“We were watching the election," Shershah said. "Obama’s victory is important for the future of Afghanistan because Obama wants to end the war in Afghanistan and to pull out the troops, and that is a good sign for Afghans. His policies are very clear toward Afghanistan.”
 
The election results, Romney’s concession and Obama’s victory speech, were broadcast live on Afghan television, with live translations.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai, on an official visit to Indonesia, issued a statement congratulating Mr. Obama on his win. Karzai said he hoped bilateral relations between Kabul and Washington would expand with Obama in the White House.
 
While many here did not see significant policy differences between the candidates when it came to Afghanistan, Obama appeared to be the favored choice.
 
Some Afghans had worried that Romney’s bellicose statements on neighboring Iran could have led to conflict with Tehran, further destabilizing Afghanistan.
 
Some Kabul residents said that Obama was a better choice for maintaining the relationship with Afghanistan -- a relationship that is increasingly on the mind of Afghans looking toward the 2014 departure of international combat forces.
 
One man, who gave his name as Qudratullah, said Afghanistan would benefit from having Obama in the White House for four more years.
 
“Obama’s victory will affect Afghanistan because he has worked for our country, compared to the Republicans, he is good for us,” he said.
 
The next two years of the relationship are not expected to be easy. Many analysts are skeptical of the Afghan government’s ability to take responsibility for the country’s security.
 
Shir Khosti, former governor of Ghazni province in central Afghanistan, laid out a list of expectations Afghans have of Mr. Obama's second administration.
 
“We hope America will play an instrumental role in the next four years in Afghanistan especially when it comes to reconciliation with Taliban, and also building a better government, a transparent government in Afghanistan, and more broadly also to help negotiate better deals with Pakistan and Iran when it comes to Afghan affairs and in terms of trade and other agreements,” said Khosti.
 
He added that many hope that President Obama will put more pressure on Pakistan and Iran to clamp down on terrorist and extremist networks.

In Pakistan,  President Asif Ali Zardari congratulated Obama on his win and said he looked forward to working closely with the president to improve security and stability in the region.
 
But university student Mohammad Usman in Islamabad said that while Pakistan remains important to U.S. counter-terrorism efforts, there is a feeling that it has been neglected by Washington.

“I think the Obama administration, now that they have got four more years, they should work with their allies and come up with a solution for this war on terror, " said Usman. "And I think that the interests of the victims of this war on terror should be a priority of the Obama administration.”
 
U.S. authorities say drone strikes in tribal areas of western Pakistan are an effective method of striking militants and al-Qaida-linked groups in the region, but they remain highly unpopular in Pakistan.

You May Like

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan

Ninety percent of world’s heroin comes from Afghanistan More

Here's Your Chance to Live in a Deserted Shopping Mall

About one-third of the 1200 enclosed malls in the US are dead or dying. Here's what's being done with them. More

Video NASA: Big Antarctica Ice Shelf Is Disintegrating

US space agency’s new study indicates Larsen B shelf could break up in just a few years More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Brandt Hardin
November 07, 2012 2:43 PM
Despite all odds, our President prevailed. He still has an uphill battle fighting a Red House which has blocked his every move in an attempt to squash his goals of bringing the Middle Class equal pay, women’s rights, gay rights and affordable healthcare. The Bush Administration drove our economy into a swift nose dive and Obama is still the patsy. Watch conservative hands paint him in Blackface with a visual commentary of how Barack has been bamboozled at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2012/10/bamboozling-obama.html

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriagei
X
May 21, 2015 4:14 AM
The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.
Video

Video Women to March for Peace Between Koreas

Prominent female activists from around the world plan to march through the demilitarized zone dividing North and South Korea to call for peace between the two neighbors, divided for more than 60 years. The event, taking place May 24, marks the International Women's Day for Peace and Disarmament and has been approved by both Koreas. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan Following Record High Poppy Crops

Afghanistan has seen record high poppy crops during the last few years - and the result has been an alarming rise in illegal drug use and addiction in the war-torn country. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem has this report from Kabul.
Video

Video America’s Front Lawn Gets Overhaul

America’s front yard is getting a much-needed overhaul. Almost two kilometers of lawn stretch from the U.S. Capitol to the Washington Monument. But the expanse of grass known as the National Mall has taken a beating over the years. Now workers are in the middle of restoring the lush, green carpet that fronts some of Washington’s best-known sights. VOA’s Steve Baragona took a look.

VOA Blogs