Showing posts with label Ghani. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ghani. Show all posts

Sunday, January 24, 2016


RoL and Terrorist Detention Decree. "A recent decree by President Ghani on how to deal with terrorist crimes has introduced the prospect of detaining, without trial, Afghans (and foreigners in Afghanistan) suspected of planning acts of terrorism". Read "Casting a Very Wide Net: Did Ghani just authorise interning Afghans without trial?", by Lenny Linke and Kate Clark, Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN), January 21, 2016.

Parliamentary Elections - October 2016. "Afghanistan's top election official says the country's long-delayed parliamentary elections have been scheduled for October 15." The Afghan legislature's 5 year term ended in June 2015 but elections were postponed because of security concerns and the rampart corruption of the 2015 presidential elections. Read more in "Afghan Election Officials Schedule Parliamentary Ballot for October 15", Radio Free Europe, January 18, 2016.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Video Conference: Obama and Ghani (Mar 12, 2015)

On March 12th President Obama and President Ghani chatted with each other by video conference. The White House released a statement about the video conference in a press release. The text is below:
Today, the President spoke with President Ashraf Ghani of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan by video conference, along with Chief Executive Officer Dr. Abdullah Abdullah.  The President encouraged accelerated Afghan progress towards forming an inclusive national unity government and expressed his expectation that their visit to Washington later this month will demonstrate our mutual commitment to a strengthened U.S.-Afghan strategic partnership.  The leaders discussed the ongoing efforts of the Afghan National Security Forces to improve security in Afghanistan and the importance of countering extremist threats from groups like al-Qa`ida.  The President commended President Ghani and Dr. Abdullah on their leadership in promoting an Afghan peace process to end the conflict in Afghanistan and their initiative to improve Afghanistan-Pakistan relations.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

President Ghani to Visit U.S. - His 5 Tasks

President Ghani will soon visit the United States. He will meet with lots of folks to include President Obama. He is taking his Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdullah Abdullah in an effort to show his partnership in the National Unity Government (NUG) is strong. The relationship between Afghanistan and the United States became strained because of the antics of the former President Karzai and his refusal to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement. Most observers expect Ghani to ask for a delay in the departure of  U.S. troops, advisors and enablers (air support, Intel assets, ISR, etc.). Tamim Asey outlines five tasks that should be accomplished by Ghani in his recent news article.

1. Rebuild Afghanistan's image & U.S. relations
2. Secure long-term security and economic assistance
3. Seek a stronger U.S. role in peace process
4. More U.S. involvement with Afghan regional neighbors
5. Secure U.S. assistance to help Afghanistan become trade, transit, energy hub

Tamin Asey is a Fulbright alumni and a Columbia University graduate. He is currently a Kabul-based researcher and writer. You can read his article in "Afghanistan" Five Tasks for Ghani's Crucial U.S. Visit", The Diplomat, March 9, 2015.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Rula Ghani in the Spotlight

Rula Ghani, the wife of President Ghani and Afghanistan's First Lady, has been stepping out into the spotlight recently. In February she conducted a trip to the United States where she conducted a number of interviews in the Washington, D.C. area. During these interviews she provided her perspective on a number of concerns and issues facing Afghanistan. She plans of taking a leading role in some aspects of Afghan life (women's rights, orphaned children, internally displaced people, education, etc.). She has some views on humanitarian aid - saying that it should be provided in a different form than it is currently given. Some aid is temporary but good aid helps people provide for themselves. She presents her take on being a Lebanese Maronite Christian in Muslim Afghanistan - saying it is not a problem for her. Read more in "For the First Time, An Afghan First Lady Steps into the Spotlight", National Public Radio, February 19, 2015.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

SIGAR Prompts Contract Review by Ghani

It appears that President Ghani is following through on some of his campaign promises. He stressed that the massive corruption within the Afghan government and Afghan National Security Forces has to be addressed. Officials from the U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) recently met with President Ghani to discuss concerns about reports of corruption. Twelve logistics contracts - from uniforms, rice, fuel, and more are being scrutinized in an inquiry. Read more in "Afghan leader orders graft review for all army supply contracts", Reuters, March 4, 2015.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Ghani Suggest Troop Timetable Change

President Ghani of Afghanistan believes the end of 2016 may be too soon for the complete withdrawal of international troops. 2014 was the deadliest year for the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and some critics are voicing concern about the ANSF ability to go it alone once the international forces depart. Read more in "Afghanistan president suggests US 'reexamine' troop withdrawal timetable", Fox Politics, January 5, 2015.

And . . .  drum roll . . . after hearing about Ghani's thoughts on a re-examination of the troop withdrawal timeline the White House issued a statement saying that President Obama has been "really clear" about the U.S. strategy. Read more in "White House: Obama 'clear' about Afghanistan withdrawal", The Hill, January 5, 2015.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Ghani Lights Fire Under UNDP

President Ghani has come strongly against the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). He is demanding that the agency turn over control of nearly $500 million in a fund that bankrolls the salaries of the Afghan police officers. The Law and Order Trust Fund of Afghanistan (LOTFA) is funded by western nations and the UNDP has done a poor job of administering it. It has come under the scrutiny of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) for a lack of oversight on the funds (see SIGAR letter). Of course, nobody really has a high degree of confidence that the Afghans can administer the fund any better than the United Nations. Read more in "Afghan Leader Tells U.N. Agency to Relinquish Control of Funds, Officials Say", The New York Times,  December 24, 2014.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Hagel - Ghani News Conference

President Ghani and Secretary of Defense Hagel conducted a joint news conference in Afghanistan on Saturday, December 6, 2014. During the conference a number of issues were addressed to include the additional 1,000 U.S. troops post-2014, combat role of U.S. troops during Resolute Support, reform of Afghan security forces, retirement of 15 senior generals in the ANA, and selection of ANA generals. Read the news transcript at the link below:

Friday, December 5, 2014

Ghani so Far: An Assessment

The Los Angeles Times has posted (December 1, 2014) an assessment of President Ghani's performance thus far. The reporters who wrote the story are Ali M. Latifi and Shashank Bengali. Read "Afghan president sets all-business tone as he aims to steady nation".

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Ghani's Remarks at NATO HQs (1 Dec 14)

President Ghani and CEO Abdullah visited NATO headquarters in Belguim and made some remarks at a joint press conference. His spokesman posted a video on YouTube with his comments in English. (December 2, 2014, 2 minutes).

Friday, November 28, 2014

Video - Kate Clark Comments on Ghani

Observers have noted that President Ghani has not wasted much time in asserting himself as the new President of Afghanistan. Kate Clark of the Afghanistan Analyst Network is interviewed by NATO TV about Ghani and the challenges that lie ahead. She comments on the formation of the cabinet, Ghani's practice of conducting unannounced visits to prisons, hospitals, and police stations, his recent visit to Pakistan to open up relations, and his quick action on the Kabul Bank corruption case. Several Afghans on the streets of Kabul are also interviewed. Watch President Fosters Hope with Strong Start, posted on YouTube, November 26, 2014, (4 mins).

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Expectations of SAARC Summit

Many critics say that the yearly South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) being held this week in Nepal does not really accomplish much. President Ghani of Afghanistan is attending along with heads of state from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Maldives, and Bhutan. Read an analysis on the problems facing SAARC and its future in "Ahead of SAARC Summit, Subdued Expectations", Voice of America, November 24, 2014.

Ghani and the Afghan Chaos

The new president of Afghanistan, President Ghani, has an impossible job ahead of him. On the basis of his first months in office as president there is hope that he can do the job. Read more on this topic in "Ashraf Ghani against the chaos", The Economist, November 22, 2014.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Ghani Visits Kathmandu, Nepal

President Ghani will visit Kathmandu, Nepal to attend the 18th SAARC Summit taking place 26-27 November, 2014. Other countries sending heads of state include Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation).

Monday, November 24, 2014

President Ghani's Twitter Account

Do you ever wonder about what the President of Afghanistan is thinking about? Well, one way to know is to follow Ashraf Ghani's Twitter account.  Some of his latest tweets are about corruption, his visit to China, importance of an improving Pakistan/Afghan relationship, congrats to the Afghan cricket team, the economy, the Istanbul Process, and the importance of women in Afghanistan. He also has a website (but it isn't in English). You can sign up for updates on Twitter to get his tweets!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Ghani Visits Pakistan

The new Afghan President has conducted a two-day visit to neighboring Pakistan in hopes of an enhanced political, security and economic cooperation. The Pakistan Army and its intelligence service (ISI) supports the Taliban insurgency that has sanctuary in Pakistan and operates in Afghanistan. Hopefully some progress will be made during Ghani's visit in this regard. Read more in "Afghan President Ghani Visits Pakistan", Voice of America, November 14, 2014.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Power Struggle in Afghan Government

The Afghan cabinet has yet to be named because of a power struggle between President Ghani and the Chief Executive Officer Abdullah. It has been a couple of months since the "National Unity Government" has been formed but not much headway has taken place in naming cabinet positions. Of the upmost importance is selecting the Minister of Interior and Minister of Defense. Read more in "Afghan power struggle seen delaying formation of new government", Reuters,  November 13, 2014.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Ghani to Visit Pakistan

President Ghani will soon visit Pakistan. There is optimism that his trip will garner some cooperation from Pakistan on a number of issues. The most important obstacle to good relations between the two countries is the Pakistan intelligence service's active support of several Taliban insurgent groups that have sanctuary in Pakistan and attack targets in Afghanistan. The multidimensional agenda for the visit includes the topics of security, economic cooperation, trade, and investment. Read more in "Optimism Ahead of Afghan Leader's Visit to Islamabad", Voice of America, November 12, 2014.

Ghani Name Change Important Gesture

Afghanistan's new president, Ashraf Ghani, has dropped the use of his "tribal name" for official purposes. This small but important gesture casts a vote in favor of national identity over tribal identity. Learn more in "Afghanistan's New President Just Made a Small But Significant Gesture", The Diplomat, by Ankit Panda, November 4, 2014.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

President Ghani Changes His Name

President Ghani has removed his tribal Pashtun name from all official documents. Read more in "Afghanistan's Ghani drops Pashtun name from official documents", Yahoo! News, October 30, 2014.