Search

 

Cablegate: Development, Security Key Themes in Ambassador's

VZCZCXRO0214
OO RUEHDBU RUEHIK RUEHPW RUEHYG
DE RUEHBUL #3772/01 3110949
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 070949Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1359
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KABUL 003772

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR SCA/FO DAS GASTRIGHT, SCA/A
STATE PASS TO USAID FOR AID/ANE, AID/DCHA/DG
NSC FOR JWOOD
OSD FOR MSHIVERS
CENTCOM FOR CG CJTF-82 AND POLAD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV MARR MOPS PREL PTER EAID AF
SUBJECT: DEVELOPMENT, SECURITY KEY THEMES IN AMBASSADOR'S
VISIT TO KHOST PROVINCE

REF: KABUL 3724

SUMMARY
-------

1. (SBU) Development and security were the key themes
brought up in conversations with local officials during the
Ambassador's October 29 visit to Khost Province. In meetings
with the Provincial Governor, Provincial Council and
university students, Ambassador underscored the U.S. respect
for Islam and U.S. commitment to working in partnership with
Afghan institutions to address security issues and encourage
development. He answered students' questions about U.S.
intentions in Afghanistan. Khost MPs who met with the
Ambassador in Kabul prior to the the trip highlighted their
concern over a disconnect between the government and the
people. End Summary.

Provincial Officials Highlight Security Concerns
--------------------------------------------- ---

2. (SBU) The Ambassador met with Provincial Governor Arsala
Jamal and members of the Provincial Council (PC) during his
October 29 visit to Khost Province. The Governor and PC
members spoke at length about the close cooperation they had
with the U.S. Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Khost.
They reported that security had improved in the province
since the PRT began operations but underlined it remains a
concern. They stressed the importance of military forces
respecting Islam as they carry out operations. Provincial
Council chairman Dawood Khan Shaheedzoi cited the need for
close cooperation between U.S. and Afghan security forces and
the community in order to avoid misunderstandings and errors.
He claimed that two local residents had been arrested based
on false intelligence. He also complained about a former
Taliban commander accepted into the Program Takh-i-Sol (PTS,
the reconciliation program) having been subsequently
arrested. Governor Jamal broached the subject of raising
security personnel from among local tribes and paying them
from national funds according to national doctrine as a way
to strengthen community policing efforts.

3. (SBU) Ambassador underscored the U.S. commitment to PTS,
saying that it was vital that Taliban who want to return to a
decent, peaceful life should be able to so. He also stressed
the importance monitoring and, if need be, enforcement to
ensure that reconcilees meet their obligations to the
community. Ambassador said the U.S. is committed to working
in partnership with Afghan authorities, saying this is the
way to produce the optimum political and security outcome in
all our operations. He underlined U.S. respect for Islam.
He offered condolences for the death of a PC member, due to a
heart attack, following the October 25 suicide attack on a
PRT convoy in which the Governor and the PC member were
passengers.

Development Also a Priority
---------------------------

4. (SBU) Governor Jamal and the PC members highlighted the
importance of development to the Province. They said the
Khost-Gardez road remained the main priority for the region,
as it would mean more mobility of people and goods.
Hospitals, electricity, agriculture projects, infrastructure,
and trade development were also on their wish list. The
Khost-Gardez road issue was also raised at a press conference
during the visit. The Ambassador committed to an effort to
keep the Khost-Gardez pass free of snow over the winter and
said that U.S.-funded construction and paving efforts would
begin in spring 2008. Ambassador highlighted in each meeting
that more assistance was going to Khost Province during the
current year than had been provided in the five previous
years.

SPIRITED DISCUSSION WITH STUDENTS
---------------------------------

5. (SBU) The Ambassador also met with a group of Khost

KABUL 00003772 002 OF 002


University and area madrassa students who asked questions
about the U.S. view of Islam, the links between 9/11 and the
U.S. decision to attack the Taliban, and U.S. long-term
interests in Afghanistan. The Ambassador underlined U.S.
respect for Islam and religious education, adding that
students should be able to study and teachers should be able
to teach whatever subjects they chose. He noted that the
U.S. had been involved in development in Afghanistan for
decades, but it was Al-Qai'da's use of Afghanistan as a base
to attack the U.S. that had been the basis for a decision to
reestablish a presence. The U.S. is committed to a long-term
partnership with Afghanistan, supporting security and
development.

KHOST MPs HIGHLIGHT GOVERNMENT'S DISCONNECT AND PRAISE PRT
--------------------------------------------- -------------

6. (SBU) During their meeting in Kabul with the Ambassador
two days before his trip to the province, Khost MPs expressed
concern over what they described as a growing disconnect
between the government and the people. They also underlined
the need for security forces to work with local leaders
during operations to avoid errors and undermining confidence
in the efforts. MP Liaqatullah Babakrakhial claimed there
had been several recent instances of what he described as
mistaken identity leading to improper arrests. The MPs also
flagged concern over the lack of development. Amir Khan
Sabri, MP on the Communication and Transportation Committee
of the Wolesi Jirga, highlighted that there are no hospitals
and little electricity in the province. (Note: In fact there
is currently a main hospital in Khost that is functional; a
new hospital project in the province will be funded via
CERP.) MP Mawlavi Hanif Shah Hussaini and other MPs
underscored the positive role played by the PRT in
development in the province and welcomed further efforts.


WOOD

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN: As COVID Deaths Pass Two Million Worldwide, Guterres Warns Against Self-Defeating ‘Vaccinationalism'

With more than two million lives now lost worldwide to COVID-19, the UN Secretary-General appealed on Friday for countries to work together and help each other to end the pandemic and save lives. In a video statement , Secretary-General António Guterres ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Washington Riot And The Georgia Results

Hong Kong and Washington DC. On the same morning, the tyrants in power in Beijing and their counterpart in the White House have shown how they refuse to accept the legitimacy of any different points of view, and the prospect of losing power… More>>

UN: Violent Attempt At US Capitol To ‘overturn’ Election, Shocking And Incendiary

Unsplash/ElevenPhotographs The US Capitol building in Washington D.C. A group of independent UN rights experts released ... More>>

UN: Guterres To Seek Second Five-year Term
António Guterres will be seeking a second five-year term as UN Secretary-General, which would begin in January 2022.... More>>