Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, March 29th, 2020

Another Strategic Agreement Signed!

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Another Strategic  Agreement Signed!

As the transition period is going on in Afghanistan and the withdrawal of international forces is going to be completed in 2014, there are concerns about the capability of Afghan authorities to shoulder the responsibilities of carrying on the security and governance of the country appropriately. This fact is now widely accepted that Afghanistan would require a lot of support even after 2014 from prominent powers in the world. Strategic agreements with major powers in the world and the regional players will definitely support Afghanistan in this regard.

Afghan authorities have already started efforts in this regard. Strategic partnership agreements with India, UK, France, Italy and US were already signed. On Wednesday, May 16, 2012, Afghanistan took another important step. It signed long-term strategic deal with Germany. Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the German Chancellor Angela Markel inked the agreement according to which Germany will remain committed in supporting Afghanistan after the complete withdrawal of international troops in 2014.

The agreement is valid for five years from the time of its implementation and can be extended upon mutual agreement by both the countries. By signing the agreement both sides agreed on the importance of good governance, public administration reform, transparency and mutual accountability for cooperation between national and international structures to improve and the implementation of the rule of law to be strengthened. Afghanistan has been suffering and there have been concerns both at home and away regarding good governance and public administration.

There are millions of people who do not have access to their very rudimentary requirements of life in the country and, unfortunately, no proper attention is paid and tangible measures are designed to deal with the issue. It is really important that the issue of good governance must be an integral part of the deal and it should be guaranteed that Afghan government takes it seriously, as well. Same attitude must be maintained regarding implementing of the rule of law. In Afghanistan, the law is basically the will of the powerful. It does not serve justice; rather it serves the ruling elite.

The accord between the two countries also calls for creating a democratic, politically stable Afghanistan, with a growing economy in a stable region, actively promoting respect for human rights, including the rights of women and children, in accordance with the constitution of Afghanistan. Afghanistan at the moment has certain basic political problems that have to be dealt with masterly. So as to form a true democratic system, it is necessary that authoritarianism must not be backed. The current system seems to be a very centralized presidential system, which, if remains unchecked can really make the democratic institutions suffer to a great extent.

The system will keep on moving around the personalities and will not be able to play any role in the democratization of the system. As far as the economy of the country is concerned, a whole infra-structure has to be built and a comparative stability has to be achieved so that the investors must not hesitate to invest their money and remain committed to business in Afghanistan.

The emphasis on both the political and economic cooperation in the agreement is really appreciative; however, it has to be consistent and unswerving. It is also appreciative to see an emphasis on the human rights. The violation of human rights; especially the rights of women and children have been very much dominant in Afghan society. Though there have been improvements made regarding the issue in the years after Taliban regime, major concerns still exist and may even get more serious if left unattended.

The pact envisages cooperation in the field of defense through military training and bilateral annual programs… Military aid includes the training of members of Afghan armed forces in Bundeswehr facilities in Germany. Bilateral annual programs are based on the principle of reciprocity. Security is, undoubtedly, one of the most threatening issues but how Afghan forces will manage to counter the growing threats of terrorism and insecurity is yet to be determined. Moreover, the funding of Afghan forces still remains undecided to a large extent.

The strategic agreement signed between Afghanistan and US also did not draw decisive conclusions in this regard. About $ 4.1 billion would be required annually to maintain Afghan security forces after 2014. A large portion of this amount will be provided by US but great cooperation is required from other countries as well. Germany, according to a statement from President Karzai's spokesperson Aimal Faizi, would give 50 million in annual assistance.

The agreement mentions that Germany will make an appropriate contribution to financing Afghan security forces (army and police), as agreed at the International Conference on Afghanistan in Bonn on December 5, 2011. Australia has also promised that it would contribute $ 300 million to Afghanistan, $ 100 million for three years, after the withdrawal of international forces. However, a large portion of the required amount for Afghan forces is yet to be determined. Hopefully, the upcoming NATO Summit in Chicago will play a decisive role in this regard.

Definitely, the strategic agreements are of great importance and they can serve as strong support for Afghanistan once it has to stand on its own. But at the same time, it must be maintained how to use the diplomatic ties wisely. As an intelligent country Afghanistan must always strive for peace and cooperation with other countries.

However, it must not forget that the same sort of strategic agreements must be planned with regional powers as well. The region, especially the neighboring countries can play tremendous role in the building of Afghanistan and eradication of terrorism from the country. Apart from signing the deal, it is also important to pursue them properly.

Afghanistan has to make sure it does not leave the hands of peace, tranquility and development and make utmost efforts to remain committed to the pledges that are made in the strategic agreements with the major powers of the world. Otherwise, the trust that the international community has on our country, can be eliminated once we do not pursue what we promise and this can push us towards isolation.

Dilawar Sherzai is the permanent writer of the Daily outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at dilawar.sherzai@gmail.com

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