President Ashraf Ghani won with 923,868 votes with 50.64 per cent and his rival Abdullah Abdullah polled second with 39.52 per cent, securing 720,099 votes. The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi congratulated President Ghani, stating, ‘India values strong friendship with Afghanistan’, writes Neelapu Shanti, for Elets News Network (ENN).
The preliminary presidential poll result is an elevated hope for the people of Afghanistan amid recurring tectonic shift of uncertainties arose due to decades of civil war. Afghanistan witnessed the fourth democratic election since the fall of the Taliban era in 2001. Timely elections are the developmental framework of democratic governance of any nation but Afghanistan has been mired in continuous instability, jeopardized to establish a developmental structure for their country. The fourth Presidential elections held in October last year is a significant milestone in rebuilding Afghanistan’s democratic peace process which stands stalled as Taliban’s besieged idea of national values are undermined. President Ghani won Ashraf Ghani with 923,868 votes, with 50.64 per cent and his rival Abdullah Abdullah polled second with 39.52 per cent, securing 720,099 votes.
India’s assistance can change the Lives of the Afghan people
The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi congratulated President Ghani, stating, ‘India values strong friendship with Afghanistan’. Indeed, it has been proved time and again, the dynamic nature of India’s relation with Afghanistan forging shared nationhood. India’s neighbourhood policy approach is termed for inclusive growth across the region and Afghanistan remained at epitome to provide and support in development parameters. India’s $3 billion USD aid to Afghanistan since 2001 has given necessary support bilaterally for economic development and humanitarian assistance. India’s assistance in capacity and capability sphere of Afghanistan includes agriculture, education, health, skill development, empowerment of women and energy infrastructure have grown from strength to strength. India stands as a beacon of peace, potential and promise for Afghanistan. Starting from a skill development programme, providing scholarships to Afghan students and other proactive engagements for development resulted in the ushering of projects like Chabahar, air freight corridors, etc. has been purposeful and productive. India’s support to the elected government in Afghanistan has been built on India’s neighbourhood policy agenda to enhance bilateral relation on the political, economic and cultural front. Thus, both India and Afghanistan have been forging strong development cooperation connections. As is evident, there is a development cooperation approach under the framework of the Strategic Partnership Agreement of 2001 between India and Afghanistan. India has been a valuable development partner of Afghanistan for several years involved in the development of trade and invested in capacity building, infrastructure, education, healthcare, good-governance, human resource development. There are immense opportunities for Afghanistan with India for promoting growth and sustainable growth. India has been the largest regional contributor for Afghanistan’s reconstruction.
What Next for Afghanistan?
Afghanistan has been combating with Taliban-led insurgency for more than 18 years. It is important for the newly elected government to achieve the goals set by the Afghanistan National Peace and Development Framework (ANPDF) which is a five-year strategic plan to be self-reliant. Afghanistan’s core challenges to cope with are conflict, corruption, criminality, and unemployment. The growth corridor of Afghanistan can only be achieved by permeating with advanced reforms and reducing the aid assistance support. For inclusive growth, comprehensive reforms to be undertaken in Afghanistan to reduce corruption and enforce the law for an effective legal system. By enhancing Afghanistan government’s efficiency is the key to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals namely reduction of poverty and quality education, government legitimacy, security and stability.