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Afghani ambassador asks for help
by Don Kazak

Afghani ambassador asks for help

Private investment is now needed to rebuild his country’s war-torn infrastructure and promote economic development, Afghanistan’s ambassador to the United States stated at a Stanford University luncheon today.

The ambassador, Said Tayeb Jawad, noted that although Afghanistan is relying heavily on military assistance from the U.S. and other countries, it is also training its own army so such reliance can be phased out.

On the same day that two car bombs killed two people and inured three in Kabul, Jawad said, “The terrorists and Taliban are defeated, but not eliminated.”

Suicide car bombings are rare in Afghanistan, he added.

Jawad spoke to a crowd of about 150 Stanford faculty and students at the Bechtel Conference Center at Encina Hall, with former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz in the audience.

Jawad lived and worked for years in the Bay Area after fleeing his country following the Soviet invasion in 1989, studying law in Germany and receiving a MBA from Golden Gate University in San Francisco.

He was chief of staff to Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai until appointed ambassador to the United States in December 2003. He gave up his United States citizenship to become ambassador.

“In order to fight terrorism, investment and security are needed,” he said.

Afghanistan is the seventh poorest country in the world and while many children are now attending school, many of those schools are little more than tents.

Afghanistan is benefiting from the return of 3.6 million Afghani refugees in the last four years, including many who are well educated.

The country recently certified the results of its first parliamentary elections, and its parliament will be seated sometime in December. About 28 percent of the newly elected members are women, he added.

But security is still a main concern.

“Afghanistan is still not out of the woods yet,” he said.


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