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

Photogallery US Storm Falls Short of Severe Predictions, Yet Affects Millions

NYC mayor says, 'This is nothing like we feared it would be,' yet blizzard warnings, travel bans remain for several East Coast states More

Millions of Displaced Nigerians Struggle With Daily Existence

Government acknowledges over a million people displaced in 2014 due to fight against Boko Haram insurgency More

Facebook: Internal Error to Blame for Outages

Temporary outage appeared to spill over and temporarily slow or block traffic to other major Internet sites 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.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid