News / Asia

US Special Envoy Says Afghan Elections Likely 'Flawed'

US Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke speaks to reporters in Islamabad on the eve of Afghan parliamentary elections, 17 Sept. 2010
US Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke speaks to reporters in Islamabad on the eve of Afghan parliamentary elections, 17 Sept. 2010
TEXT SIZE - +

U.S. Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, says the Afghan parliamentary election is likely be flawed and disputed, but believes the new parliament will hold the key to bring stability to the insurgency-plagued country. The top regional diplomat, who sat down with reporters in Islamabad, has also called militants hiding in Pakistani tribal regions bordering Afghanistan as the greatest threat to world peace.

The U.S. regional envoy, Richard Holbrooke, described Saturday's parliamentary election in Afghanistan as a complicated issue, saying there are ten candidates running for each seat and they are not organized as parties.

"My hope is that we will have an honest and fair election," Holbrooke said. "But I know it is going to be flawed. It is not possible to have a completely fair election in the middle of the war."

Watch Richard Holbrooke Discussing the Problem of Corruption in Afghanistan

Holbrooke said that while the election is not going to be perfect and it will take a few weeks to count the results, stability in Afghanistan will depend on the parliament when it is installed early next year.

The election in Afghanistan is taking place amid a robust Taliban insurgency and U.S. President Barack Obama plans to begin withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan in July next year. But Holbrooke reiterated that the international community's goal is to leave Afghanistan after the country is stable and able to take care of its own security.

"But when I say 'leave.' I am talking about combat troops," said Holbrooke. "The United States is not going to stop giving economic development assistance to Afghanistan, they need it."

The special representative also aid the United States believes stamping out corruption in Afghanistan is key to succeeding in the war against the Taliban.  

"I want to be clear on this. We are not fighting in Afghanistan to wipe out corruption. We are opposing it because it is necessary to succeed in the war," he said. "It is to help the Afghans create a government, which is responsive to the needs of the people and which the people regard as a friend."

The U.S. diplomat, meanwhile, said that neighboring Pakistan's northwestern tribal regions are harboring militants involved in terrorist attacks in and outside the region.

His statement comes as suspected U.S. unmanned planes have stepped missiles strikes against militant hideouts in the Pakistan border area, particularly, the North Waziristan tribal region. The drones have carried out at least 13 attacks so far this month, killing dozens of suspected militants.

Ambassador Holbrooke refused to directly comment on the drone strikes because the United States does not comment on these operations believed to be supervised by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, or CIA.

"There are some things that it is difficult to talk about," he said. "But we face a common threat from militants in the border region. They are killing Americans in Afghanistan. They are killing Pakistanis. They are trying to provoke conflict between India and Pakistan. They are trying to stir up international jihad."

Pakistan is a close U.S ally in the anti-terrorism war and has deployed thousands of troops to secure its border region with Afghanistan. But it has yet to mobilize forces in its North Waziristan tribal area where militants linked to al-Qaida and the Afghan Taliban are believed to be entrenched for deadly cross-border attacks on coalition forces in Afghanistan.

You May Like

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid