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tv   The Worlds Most Difficult Job  BBC News  October 9, 2017 12:30am-1:01am BST

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i'm babita sharma with bbc world news. 28—year—old kim yo—jong will join the politburo, the nation's top decision—making body, replacing her aunt. huge crowds have turned out in barcelona in a show of support for the unity of spain and against plans for the independence of catalonia. it's not clear whether the region will go ahead with a full declaration of independence. and this story is trending on the us vice—president, mike pence has walked out of an nfl game after some players knelt down during the national anthem. mr pence said he would not dignify any event which showed such disrespect. the symbolic protest against racial injustice has been staged at a number of games in recent weeks. that's all from me now. now on bbc news it's time for the world's most difficultjob: afghanistan. the nato combat mission in afghanistan ended three years ago, but the war is far from over. as i discovered, visiting
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a british air force base at kabul international airport last week. the casualties we have heard of... siren. get down! the gp is locked down. nato now plays a backseat role helping train, advise, and assist afghan forces in their battle against the taliban. suffice to say there is some sort of barrage going on at the moment. but in terms of numbers, we don't have much information. it has been a tough fight since the afghans took over. the government now controls less than two—thirds of the country. and that is not the only challenge for afghanistan. it is one of the most corrupt countries on earth. tens of billions of dollars are reckoned to have been stolen by government officials. the country is also grindingly poor. no wonder the president of afghanistan, ashraf ghani, says he's got the toughest
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job in the world. president, very, very good to meet you. very goot to meet you. president ghani, thank you very much indeed for sitting down to do this interview. you are one of the few world leaders who says he gets on with president trump. what is it about mr trump and about you that means you two can do business together? the first thing is shared interest. if you do not have shared interests, you cannot develop a common language. we are able to have a dialogue, not a monologue. and that has really been key. president trump has been extraordinarily thorough in terms of the hard questions and the arguments that we were able to present were convincing, that the engagement was because of us' interests, global interests, and then of course, our interests. and we found a point of convergence.
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it was about presenting your case succinctly and persuasively. absolutely. now, the commitment he has made to afghanistan is significant. he has increased troop numbers, but more importantly, possibly, he said this is an indefinite commitment, "we'll stay as long as it takes." what is afghanistan going to do in return for that substantial commitment the americans have made? a total reform process. a comprehensive hollistic reform across the board, involving the economy. we need to show that "self reliance" is not words, not deeds. because of the regional connectivity, market orientation, developing natural resources, because, fortunately, we are a rich country, a very focused and systematic reform of the security sector, governance, rule of law, and importantly, of course,
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the empowerment of three majorities in this country, youth, women, and the poor, because citizenship, this is a very young country, we are an ancient civilisation but an extraordinarily young country. the generational transformation in terms of making sure the generation of the 1990s takes over authority and responsibility is crucial to this enterprise. there are a number of issues there. let's break them down a bit. one of the key issues for you and indeed for president trump is the issue of corruption. the nato powers, the west, has poured resources into afghanistan. the estimates begin at $1 trillion. looking at afghanistan, lots of people would say that money was wasted and stolen by corrupt officials. what will you do to
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tackle corruption here? the strategy against corruption is being finalised in the high council on rule of law, good governance, and anti—corruption. i think the jury needs to look at it, but in comparative terms, this is probably one of the most thoroughly prepared anti—corru ption strategies. it does notjust deal with symptoms, it deals with causes. and it is notjust prosecution, though it is extremely important, but we are dealing with the fundamental ways of creating good governance. furthermore, this is not imposed. it's driven by us, it is thoroughly owned by us, and the generational change in leadership taking place is self—implemented. the anticorru ption effort is being led by this man, daud noorzai. his work challenges some of the most powerful people in the country.
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he's an afghan brought up in germany but who has returned to the country of his birth with a vision for change. so, daud, this is the big reform meeting. yes, here we create the reform structures. so, the idea is to open up the afghan government to scrutiny. and that means allowing the decision—making process of government to be audited. so, that includes all of the high—spending departments they are all listed up there. it is also about allowing ordinary citizens to hold the government accountable. ashraf ghani put him in charge of the administrative office of the president. it now has the power to audit government departments to root out corruption. the rest of the operation...
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but its agenda is much wider than that. we are able to see people working on each task. each government system allows me or anyone managing in it to see the operation of any co—worker. so, again, the core of this is about transparency, opening it up so everyone can see how decisions are being made. and, says mr ghani, that applies across government. there's an overarching reform of the recruitment process. the civil service commission are being empowered and are being supported. i am not in any part of the process. when they do theirjob, i sign. so, this is blind selection. it's blind selection. we have the entire financial and administrative part of the government subject to blind recruitment, seeking 8,000 people who have applied on line. take the attorney general‘s office.
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we have an attorney general who is determined and is capable, a three—star general, that i promoted. he is now in prison because it was demonstrated that fuel was being stolen. one of the richest men in the country who people thought was untouchable is now in prison. again, you can ask anybody in thejudicial sector, i provide full political support but i do not get involved in thejudicial process. what is the first principal of tackling corruption in your view? political will. the first principle is you do not engage in it and you have the will to confront it. whoever engages in corruption regardless of affiliation, relationship, etc, must be subject to the law. the fundamental issue of corruption is not to deny it and to acknowledge it is systemic.
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when you realise that, the strategy is not tactical, it has to deal with the fundamentals. and then there are indicators, you know, global indicators, on the base of which. let me bring up global indicators. you have been in power for three years now. afghanistan is not exactly racing up the rankings of transparency internationally, is it? so why are we not seeing... because the problem was so vast and so systematic that we had to create the foundations. next year, you will see a change in numbers. this year we focussed in earnest on security sector corruption as it was costing us lives in defence of our country. but we did it, i hope it is appreciated, while fighting a war. please show me a country that has prosecuted senior military and police officials
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while fighting a war, both against terrorism, and... there is an inherent dilemma for politicians tackling corruption. the more you discover, the more your government looks corrupt. that could be a liability going to the polls in two years‘ time. isn't there a danger you could create your own weakness by doing this? that is an excuse, an excuse for not doing anything. look, somebody has to bear the cost of change. change is not pleasant to the entrenched interests. so they are going to scream murder. but if the election is your goal, you will never engage in reform. reform is the goal, the election is the means. you run for office in order to do something not in order to perpetuate yourself. politicians of the late 20th and early 21st century have become incredibly conservative,
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but the times require bold action. the price of your commitment to the reform could be your government. this is a price i am willing to pay. you are willing to pay that price? absolutely. if i did not, i would not be in this position. this is the worstjob on earth. no, it is. if i am going to make it better for my successor, i need to have courage, conviction, and determination. and you are willing to make that sacrifice if it comes to? let's go on to another tricky issue for afghanistan, security. security is still a huge issue here, as we discovered while we were out with british forces the day before we met mr ghani. a small royal air force squadron of puma helicopters help support the nato effort to train and advise afghan forces. it moves equipment and
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personnel around kabul. well, obviously, we're facilitating so much of what goes on here. we're moving mentors around... we had just interviewed the squadron leader in the airport complex when an alarm sounded. get down! siren. the gp‘s locked down. so, we've been lying here for about half an hour. the siren keeps going off repeatedly. the latest information we've got is a number of missiles of some sort have hit the airfield. suffice to say there is some sort of barrage going on, but in terms of numbers, locations, we don't have that information at the moment. a total of 46 mortar rounds were fired into the international airport complex, damaging planes and helicopters and bringing down the ceiling of one building.
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it was the biggest and most sustained attack for years. no—one was hurt at the airport but one afghan civilian was killed and several others injured in the effort to take down the taliban position. the attack was yet more evidence of just what a formidable force the taliban remain. the long—term aim, and this is very explicit from trump, the long—term aim is that nato forces would completely withdraw from afghanistan and the battle you face will become your responsibility alone. let me ask you this question, donald trump has given you this commitment, president trump has given you this commitment, but when do you think nato troops will be able to withdraw from afghanistan? we have a four—year security plan and we are racing through it. look at our ministry of defence now and look at it three years ago.
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if you are talking about racing reform, the ministry of defence is an example of this. look at the management of the war. this year, the war is being superbly managed. we were like i2—year—olds taking over the responsibility of a 30—year—old. and now, in terms of management and leadership, things are really falling in place. there are changes in our inherent law that are going to make it more robust. systems and processes are being created to support this. within four years, we think our security forces would be able to do their constitutional thing, which is monopoly... ..the claim to legitimate monopoly of power. but our struggle, our engagement, with the international community, is not confined to our security,
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it also has the global security component. so the counter—terror terror cooperation does not depend on us, it depends on the robustness, unfortunately the morphing of terrorist organisations that are transnational. that component relies on all of us to be able to continue. if we just look at the hard statistics last year, and i agree the campaign this year has been more successful, but look at the statistics last year, i mean, 7,000 ana soldiers lost their lives, some 12,000 were injured, you had desertions. in effect you lost 10% of your fighting force. no army can sustain losses like that indefinitely and continue to wage a successful war. are you telling me that the corner has been turned? yes. first, it breaks my heart, but please understand, over 100,000...
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..over 110,000 nato—isaf troops withdrew. they were suffering casualties, in thousands. and we did it without the air support, we did it without the armours, et cetera. we are a developing country army, but i am very proud of the sacrifice and the reason it's changing is because recruitment is up. every single person in the afghan army and police and secret service is a volunteer. there is no obligatory recruitment and because of that and because of the things that are changing, is it difficult? yes, but it's no longer impossible. in 2014, when i became president it looked impossible. now it looks like a difficult task and difficult is within our grasp. you said the taliban does not have much support and yet we see the taliban extending the area it
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controls and contesting more territory in afghanistan. if it doesn't have support, how can it possibly be doing that? there are two things. one is that it's controlling. it's not been able to take a single province. its aim was to overthrow the government. it had two strategic aims. to overthrow the government or to create two political geographies. it has failed miserably in both of these things. well, if you look at somewhere like helmand, it virtually controls the entire province. it doesn't. .. it's only lashkargah that isn't... of course. i'm not questioning that there is a contestation. but helmand is a drug war. taliban are the largest exporters of heroin to the world. why is the world is not focusing on heroin? is this an ideological warora drug war? who is benefiting from this drug war? can helmand, the conflict
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in helmand, be sustained a day without the heroin component? and unfortunately the bulk of that profit goes to europe. you think the bulk goes to europe? the bulk of the profit goes to europe. look at the studies. the trafficking, because the largest consumers are in europe and today it's reaching the canadian market. we have a serious component of transnational criminality and this needs to be addressed. you're absolutely right. it isn't defined as a drug war, it's defined as a civil war within afghanistan. you're saying it's not that? it's not that. there are multiple components. we need a global dialogue on the responsibility of producers, processors, traffickers and consumers and this is important because it's really becoming a major problem. and unless...i've learnt a lot from colombia and i'm
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learning from mexico. president santos is an inspiration in a lot of ways, but the other component is also this criminalisation of the economy needs to be addressed. so you see a stronger parallel between, say, colombia, which has fought a war against an insurgency but actually which became, everyone recognised, a war about control of the profits of drugs. you are saying... there are parallels. very, very similar. because transnational terrorism and transnational criminality are reinforcing each other. so are you looking to a similar solution that president santos found in colombia, where you draw the criminal element into government? we need — this is precisely one component, a peace agreement with the taliban, so we can create a legal economy. fortunately the natural resources of afghanistan, if we focus on it, and with the conditions of peace, could allow us an alternative.
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you're talking about peace with the taliban. iam... president trump is talking about victory, although he acknowledges... but the aim... this is not victory that the west would understand in terms of... but the whole aim... secretary mattis was extremely clear, president trump has been clear. the whole aim of the strategy is to provide ground for a political solution. and a political solution is a negotiated solution. the way, shape or form of it may not be the classic peace agreements of the 1990s, but we need to focus on this because we need to reduce violence. and it's imperative the people are given a chance to live lives. we've been denied breathing space for a0 years and in an immense tribute to our people for their resilience. any other society would have been completely broken. so victory is actually peace? the main victory is sustainable peace. not any peace.
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a peace within the framework of our constitution, that enables all our people to participate, and to overcome our past. the development efforts that really seem to make a difference in a country are not the big glamorous dam projects or roadbuilding projects or new power stations, the really effective measures seem to be things like educating women and female empowerment. now, those are two things that afghanistan has traditionally been extremely weak on. what are you doing to change that? well, first, i'm an illustration that educating a woman changes five generations. my grandmother was in exile in india and when she returned she made sure that all her six sons and grandchildren were educated. the value of women's education is immense. the counter side is that a female—headed household living in poverty condemns three generations to poverty. so it's absolutely essential. the good news is that our women now
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have a voice in organisations. they are strong. they are resilient and we need to work with that resilience and increase it and because they are one of the three numerical majorities of this country, without their empowerment there will be no stability or prosperity in this country. we are doing everything we can. but you face resistance because it's still a very, very traditional society. it's not. that is highly exaggerated. i'll give you an example. i came after 2a years, in 2001, and my first task was to design a programme called national solidarity, which empowered 311,000 villages. i said women's councils must be created next to men's councils and all our foreign advisers were saying this is a traditional society, you've been away for 2h years. i said, you didn't know my grandmother. this is not about imposing values on a woman, it is working with them. and they have remarkable ways of... 0ur nomadic women — they were traders.
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they had that context of the 17th and 18th century. millions to trade. we have to avoid stereotyping. in kabul university in the 1960s, ‘66 when ijoined and then i went for my studies abroad, the number of women was remarkable. we've had women doctors, women judges, in particular teachers. women are the majority of our teachers. and now we are getting women entrepreneurs. and this is extremely significant because when women are empowered economically our religion poses no obstacles. 0ur women have the right to property when western women were denied it. your women have had the right to property less 120 years. look at virginia woolf. but our women had
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the right to property. the wife of the prophet, peace be upon him, was the largest trader in mecca and he worked for her, not the other way round. so our tradition is important. we can build on the legacy. the point is to reveal the hidden history of the women and to make sure that it is done with proper values and a sense of commitment. malaysia provides examples, indonesia provides examples. now the rest of the united arab emirates, qatar. the majority of the university students in qatar, for instance, are women. so there is a will to win and they will be there. thank you very much. pleasure to meet you. thank you. hello, once again the weekend has
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been marked by relatively benign conditions for most areas. decent spells of sunshine boosting temperatures. no escaping the fact that in some spots, there was quite a bit of cloud around as well. and the odd bit and piece of rain. not a shock to the system. temperatures in double figures. a lot of cloud around. at its thickest across parts of scotland with weak weather fronts dragging cloud from west to east to many areas. northern ireland perhaps a little bit drier and a fraction brighter. south of the border, the greater part of england and wales is dry. bright at best, probably the odd hint of sunshine but not the case across parts of the fat south
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of wales and south—west england with moist air and cloud sitting low in the atmosphere and there could be some drizzly rain and breeze as well. hopefully that situation will improve as the day gets going with brighter skies also in the parts of wales, the north of england and certainly the scotland after a rather dismal start. northern ireland, i have not forgotten you, but you started off quite bright and then cloud filling with rain around teatime and early evening and that is exactly the moment at which wales and the republic of ireland will clash horns in a crucial world cup qualifying match in wales. 0vernight, a bit of rain across the northern half of england. half of britain. as it moves into the southern half of britain, not much do not band of cloud with the odd spot of rain perhaps. brighter skies following a brhind but not too many isobars there. setting out to be a decent afternoon for many spots safer this north—western quarter we are seeing the first sign
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of a wet night and a pretty wet and windy day also. weather fronts piling in from the atlantic with every rain weather fronts piling in from the atlantic with heavy rain across the western ills of scotland, the pennines and down into the welsh mountains. behind it, things begin to improve. it dries out and that is the shape of things to come so many of us through thursday. still a little bit breezy perhaps but a lot of dry weather around and some brightness as well. that comes was thanks to this albeit transient ridge of high—pressure. the next set of weather fronts coming in from the atlantic. a number of isobars and we finish the week for many with a combination of wet and windy weather. i'm sharanjit leyl in singapore. the headlines... kim jong—un promotes his younger sister to north korea's centre of power, increasing his family's control.
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a rescue operation is under way after a boat carrying rohingyas refugees including many children capsizes near the bangladesh coast. i'm babita sharma in london. also in the programme... the us vice—president mike pence walks out of an american football game after some players refuse to stand for the us national anthem. and we're on the frontline between north and south korea — the world's most militarised border, and a bunkerfor 2000 people. this place was built five years ago, underneath a mountain and it is absolutely vast.
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