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

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
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 After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
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.

All About America

AppleAndroid