Submission from Majid Karzai, Second Secretary
for Political Affairs, Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
I am the Second Secretary for Political Affairs
at the Embassy of Afghanistan in London and I have prepared the
below statement to aide your inquiry "Global Security: Afghanistan".
Having worked in London for the past year and a half, I feel that
I can contribute to your understanding of Afghan state-building
and the counter-terrorism initiative as a whole. Although formally
trained in Economics, my focus for the past four years has been
international policy regarding Afghanistan and terrorism.
Content of Statement:
1. Governance and Foreign Intervention.
2. Afghan Security Apparatus and Foreign Assistance.
3. The Afghan State and its Relations with Foreign
4. Reconciliation and the Peace Process.
The Afghan government is politically centralized
with decentralized services. Meaning, Governors and district chiefs
are appointed by the central government however, they in their
locales have the authority to administer services without much
bureaucracy. This system has many strengths if cooperated with,
it provides strategic space for a national program, encourages
merit based appointments, and has inclusive qualities.
In terms of strategic value, it allows the central
government to combat terrorism, poverty, and corruption under
strong leadership. And due to their quality of being nationally
appointed, local officials set themselves apart from locality
specific political problems which in turn gives them problem solving
abilities, providing stability and cohesion.
Last year (2007), by Presidential decree the
Independent Directorate for Local Governance-IDLGwas formed.
The IDLG has a clear aim: to restore good civilian control of
the provinces and to elevate the quality of administration across
the country. After years of conflict some administrative roles
had been adopted by security organs or military/police leadership
and local governance was diluted by the realities of warfare.
In order to re-establish quality civilian governance, the IDLG
was established to closely follow the developments in the provinces
and to aide their improvement, a province alone cannot achieve
The IDLG is a good point of contact for international
partners wanting to assist the development of local governance.
The risk in the current situation is that the
counter-terrorism foreign forces lend to a different problem which
may plague the provincial administrations for some years to come.
This problem is the disintegration of the civilian system and
the coupling of foreign forces and local governments. Neglecting
the civilian structure harms progress and endangers long-term
stability. The Afghan State should be co-operated with as it is
the only legitimate, and democratically chosen, protector of Afghanistan's
It is noteworthy to mention that the system
of governance was approved by ratification of the constitution
in 2004 by the Grand Council of Afghanistan or in Pashto
the "Loya Jirga" and any "de facto" policy
subversive to the system is viewed as hostile and negative in
regards to the state.
2. AFGHAN SECURITY
The Afghan security apparatus is comprised by
three components: Police, Army, and National Security. The Police
is centrally organized by the Ministry of Interior and suffers
from a lack of resources. The lack of resources is due to the
meager financial situation of the state and the great security
challenges that exist and this is exacerbated by the lack of support
to the central authority which does not enjoy enough support from
its International partners. The lack of support is both political
and material and mirrors the problems faced by civilian sectors.
Multiple power centres are nurtured in Afghanistan and the police
is the primary party to be adversely affected.
The National Army in comparison to the other security
organs is well supported however lacks the support needed for
it to fully project across the country. The Army does not have
deterrent capability to protect the territory of Afghanistan from
outside groups and is in turn perpetually engaged in guerrilla
warfare. The Army's business should start on the borders and protect
the territory. Progress would be increased military hardware to
enable the Army to protect national sovereignty.
The National Security organNational Directorate
for Securityis structured to mitigate security threats
that may be foreign or domestic and is organised into departments
having presence across the country. Any co-operation in terms
of funds, plans, and equipment should be done with consultation
with officials at the center and not at the local level.
3. THE AFGHAN
The Afghan State rooted in history but, revived
at the Bonn Conference of 2001 is a strong natural ally for
Britain and the region. Relations with partner nations have been
strong from the outset and the realization of stability in Afghanistan
is an important endeavour in terms of morality and security. Having
natural legitimacy engrained in its history, the Afghan state
is the only entity in the region which can confront terrorist
organizations and succeed. The key is that partner nations invest
in their relationship with Afghanistan.
The initiatives of late symbolized in the Hague Conference
held early this April which recognize the regional and even global
aspects of the conflict in Afghanistan are very productive in
regards to Afghanistan's external relations and this sort of engagement
will prove to be very beneficial across the board. The Government
of Afghanistan has long been advocating the address of regional
dimensions in regards to challenges confronted in Afghanistan.
The Peace process in Afghanistan is the culmination
of our national aspiration towards stability and prosperity. It
is a strategic interest for our people and is a central pillar
for the way forward. The efforts for reconciliation are led by
our President and are given the highest attention. We appreciate
the support given by the Muslim world in this initiative. It is
a very important process and patience is needed. What is needed
from the International Community is space for negotiation: allowing
the Afghan government to sort the problems.
15 April 2009