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

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

Israelis Quietly Expand Enclave in Palestinian District of Jerusalem

Estimated 500 settlers, armed or protected by paramilitary police, live in Silwan among 50,000 Palestinians More

Video US, Iran Face Similar Challenges in Syrian Fight Against IS

Both Washington, Tehran back fighters battling Islamic State militants in Iraq -- but in Syria they support opposing sides in country’s civil war More

China Boosts Efforts to Help Afghan, Regional Stability

Observers say China’s increased regional involvement are due to concerns that Afghan instability and the presence of anti-China militants in Pakistani border areas could fuel Xinjiang troubles 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.
China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Lawi
X
William Ide
October 20, 2014 10:23 AM
China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Nigeria Agrees to Cease-Fire With Boko Haram

Islamist militant group Boko Haram and the Nigerian government have agreed to a cease-fire. The Nigerian government issued an order Friday, telling all military chiefs "to comply with the cease-fire agreement in all theaters of operations. Why now and the significance of the agreement are questions on some people’s minds. VOA's Mariama Diallo reports.
Video

Video Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

The offensive by Islamic State militants against the northern Syrian city of Kobani has caused hundreds of thousands of residents to flee to Turkey. They receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from the town of Suruc a few kilometers from the border.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.

All About America

AppleAndroid