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Ambassador Jawad Discusses Post 9/11 Afghanistan in Texas

Ambassador Jawad visited Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas on September 5 to discuss Afghanistan’s difficult but successful journey into a peaceful, pluralistic and prosperous society, as well as the Afghan government’s continued state building challenges. As a guest of the World Affairs Council of Dallas Fort Worth, the Ambassador addressed audiences in both cities, where he outlined the government’s ongoing security and counter-narcotics efforts. “Tragically, Americans understand better than anyone that global security depends upon defending freedom in each and every corner in the world. As we approach the 5th anniversary of 9/11, we must remember that Afghanistan was the first front on the war on terror, and will remain a crucial mission for the Coalition Forces and the international community for the foreseeable future,” he said.

The Ambassador discussed the challenges facing Afghanistan and the international community, cited narcotics and terrorism as the most serious threats to peace-building. On narcotics, the Ambassador cautioned against relying too heavily on eradication, stressing the need to maintain the support of the Afghan people. Ambassador Jawad explained the government’s counter-narcotics strategy that pairs eradication with alternative livelihood assistance, rural development, building law enforcement capacity, reforming the judicial system and interdiction, as well as information campaigns and regional and international cooperation. On security issues, the Ambassador emphasized the need for better cooperation with neighboring countries and increased resources, training and equipment for Afghanistan’s police force. “To keep the trust and support of ordinary citizens, we must work together to build the countryside and improve the daily lives of civilians. Without adequate development and job opportunities, people will be taken hostage by the terrorists and narco-traffickers,” Ambassador Jawad said.

During his trip, Ambassador Jawad was given a helicopter tour of the greater Dallas area by Hillwood Inc., and attended a reception for Texas’ Afghan community hosted by the University of Texas at Arlington.

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