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

Diplomats Work to Extend Israeli-Palestinian Cease-Fire

US Secretary of State John Kerry, diplomats from France, Britain, Germany, Italy, Turkey and Qatar gathered in Paris Saturday to discuss crisis More

Photogallery US Defense Department Warns of Arms to Eastern Ukraine

‘Imminent’ delivery of Russian rocket launcher poses threat to civilians, US says More

Video Researchers: Africa Genetically Modified Crops Held Back by Scaremongering

GM crops offer best hope of increasing productivity and coping with climate change in Africa, according to co-author of Chatham House report 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.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid