10 reasons Dr. Ramazan Bashardost must be elected President of Afghanistan
Kabul Press endorses Bashardost
Wednesday 12 August 2009, by
The election for President of Afghanistan is now just a few days away. Readers of Kabul Press’ Dari pages have seen extensive coverage of Dr. Bashardost’s campaign for several months. Main stream international Western media such as The New York Times, Washington Post, The Guardian (UK), BBC and NPR have recently carried in-depth stories on Bashardost. In the last days of the campaign, Kabul Press would like to re-state for English speakers the reasons it has strongly supported Bashardost.
Western-financed polls including one released today, funded by the U.S. government have shown Bashardost in a distant 3rd or fourth position, after Karzai, Abdullah and Ghani. However, Kabul Press’ sources in Afghanistan say that Bashardost in a near tie with Karzai. It is essential that those seeking true change in Afghanistan get out and vote for Bashardost—here’s why:
1. Bashardost’s campaign expenditures have been extremely low; he will not be influenced by large contributions from people expecting political payback. He does not bribe voters with free phone cards, meals or cash like other candidates. As of today, Bashardost’s campaign has spent just under $8,500. In contrast, Karzai has received millions of dollars from individuals, banks, and businesses. Abdullah Abdullah has received millions from the same types of sources, including $300,000 from businessman Haji Zalmai. These sums are public record.
2. Bashardost has no ties to corrupt individuals or organizations. He has never been the subject of any investigation for corruption. In fact, he resigned in protest from the Afghan government when he saw there was little effort to impede corruption.
3. Bashardost believes in creating a Transitional Justice Team to investigate and prosecute alleged war criminals who have tainted the Afghan government at so many levels. These persons will be ineligible to hold any government position, and may be tried for war crimes.
4. Bashardost is a well-educated populist who refuses the trappings of power like $40,000 armored SUVs, bodyguards, expensive offices, and big expense accounts. He represents everyone in Afghanistan, not just the wealthy and powerful.
5. Bashardost is a fearless supporter of human rights, freedom of speech, and gender and ethnic equality. He will work to immediately release political prisoners such as young journalist Parwiz Khambaksh, who was illegally imprisoned for 20 years by the Karzai government for “blasphemy.”
6. Bashardost’s Afghan colleagues have expertise in all areas of government including public administration, health, agriculture, justice, education, and economics. He will create a government lead by ministers untainted by associations with right-wing foreign think-tanks, Afghan warlords, and multi-national corporations.
7. Bashardost will take immediate steps to see that religion is not used in un-Islamic ways to justify discrimination or any sort, or to interfere with Afghanistan’s constitution.
8. Bashardost will initiate a strong national literacy program. He strongly supports education for all.
9. Bashardost believes that Afghanistan has the natural resources to become energy self-sufficient and will develop a combination of hydro, wind and solar electric generators, as well as gas and oil resources to supply reliable electricity to every city and town in Afghanistan.
10. Bashardost will ask Coalition military troops to remain in Afghanistan, but adjust their tactics to accommodate the new political reality of an honest Afghan government. Coalition forces would shield the fairly elected government from a coup d’etat by warlords. Coalition military would build an honest Afghan police force and army. In numerous meetings, he has been told that the insurgents’ issue is with a corrupt government, not American or coalition forces. This is one reason why Dr. Bashardost has travelled to every province in Afghanistan without body guards, and without a threat or violent incident. He is seen as the only candidate who will lead Afghanistan to a peaceful, productive future.
Kamran Mir Hazar contributed to this article.