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Afghanistan Since 9/11

Political Counselor Ashraf Haidari spoke on “Afghanistan Since 9/11” to a large group of honor students from across the nation at Georgetown University on July 31, 2006. Speaking on behalf of Ambassador Jawad, Haidari discussed with the students Afghanistan’s major achievements of the past five years, and stated that global security squarely depended on the continued international engagement in the country to help the government and people of Afghanistan overcome their many challenges. “With the support of the Afghan people and our international partners, Afghanistan has gone through an extraordinary transformation since 2001. Where the extremists and terrorists ruthlessly oppressed our people five years ago, today, we have a democratic state with an elected president and parliament that strive to rebuild a new Afghanistan where everyone is free and safe from the tragedies of our recent past,” Haidari stated. However, he noted that “a new Afghanistan free from terrorism” could not be ensured without regional cooperation to fight and eliminate the sources of terrorism outside Afghanistan. Several students commented on Afghanistan’s problem of narcotics and its connection with terrorism. Haidari explained Afghanistan’s comprehensive drug control strategy to fight drugs effectively, and said drug money was directly funding the Taliban and terrorists in Afghanistan. He said the narcotics problem in Afghanistan could be gradually overcome by sustainable rural development and building the capacity of government institutions to protect people and deliver services to them. He added that regional cooperation in combating drugs was key and necessary to save not only Afghanistan but the entire region from drugs that harm public health and undermine security and governance everywhere.

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