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

Brutality Eroding IS Financial Support

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says IS's penchant for publicizing beheadings, other brutal forms of punishment hurts group’s bottom line More

Studies: Climate Change a Factor in Disasters in Syria, California

The studies point to the possibility of clear and present dangers from a threat often considered to be far in the future More

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees 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.
Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukrainei
X
March 03, 2015 3:11 AM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video US, Cuba Report Progress in Latest Talks to Restore Ties

The United States and Cuba say they have made progress in the second round of talks on restoring diplomatic relations more than 50 years after breaking off ties. Delegations from both sides met in Washington on Friday to work on opening embassies in Havana and Washington and iron out key obstacles to historic change. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas reports from the State Department.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video NYC's Restaurant Week: An Economic Boom in Fine Dining

New Yorkers take pride in setting world trends — in fashion, the arts and fine dining. The city’s famous biannual Restaurant Week plays a significant role in a booming tourism industry that sustains 359,000 jobs and generates $61 billion in yearly revenue. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
Video

Video Brookhaven at Cutting Edge of US Energy Research

Issues like the Keystone XL pipeline, fracking and instability in the Middle East are driving debate in the U.S. about making America energy independent. Recently, the American Energy Innovation Council urged Congress and the White House to make expanded energy research a priority. One beneficiary of increased energy spending would be the Brookhaven National Lab, where clean, renewable, efficient energy is the goal. VOA's Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.

All About America

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