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Afghan President Calls for Strong Judicial System - 2002-12-19

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has called for a strong judicial system in his country that will guarantee equal access for all citizens. He spoke at the opening of a conference on judicial reform in Afghanistan.

The Afghan leader said his country's judicial system must guarantee equal access to both men and women. President Karzai said the main impetus for reforms comes from the Afghan people themselves, who, he said, are demanding an institutionalized, legal democratic system based on the rule of law. "We assured and supported the idea that Afghanistan should have an independent judicial system with equal access for all Afghans without any bias towards any Afghan," said Hamid Karzai. "We demanded a strong, correct, reformed judicial system."

Mr. Karzai said difficulties will no doubt have to be faced following 23 years of repressive regimes in Afghanistan. But he said his government is committed to reforms.

Also attending the two-day conference are other Afghan leaders, United Nations officials and representatives of Western donor nations.