The Loya Jirga, Ethnic Rivalries and Future Afghan Stability; Strategic Insights: v.1, issue 6 (August 2002)
Johnson, Thomas H.
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On June 24 the Afghan transitional government and administration of Hamid Karzai was installed during formal ceremonies in Kabul. Karzai had easily won the June 13 election at a national political assembly, or loya jirga. The loya jirga consisted of 1500 representatives, elected or appointed from 32 provinces, and debated the political future of Afghanistan over a seven-day period. The Karzai government is supposed to rule Afghanistan through 2003. During the ceremony, Karzai and his new cabinet took an oath in both major Afghan languages (Pashtu and Dari), vowing to follow the basic teachings of Islam and the laws of the land, to renounce corruption, and to safeguard the honor and integrity of Afghanistan. How successful they are in achieving these vows will be critical to the near term future of Afghanistan, its reconstruction, and possibly the stability of the entire region of Central Asia. The document concludes that if Afghanistan is not at least moderately reconstructed, the odds of it again becoming a haven for terrorists are greatly magnified. Ultimately, the cost of Afghan reconstruction is a timely and cost effective investment that will pay for itself over the long turn.
This article appeared in Strategic Insights (August 2002), v.1 no.6
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