tv Afghan President Discusses His Countrys Political and Military Future CSPAN November 16, 2018 3:12pm-5:19pm EST
holding the majority in the senate. members now prepare for the new congress in january. new congress, new leaders, watch the process unfold on c-span. >> appearing video link afghanistan's president talks about the future of afghanistan security and the fight against taliban at an event hosted by the john hopkins school international studies here in washington. this is about two hours. >> well, good morning, thanks to all of you for joining us here this morning for a very special john hopkins school advanced international studies event. joining the dean forum with strategic study speaker series, the host unique video teleconference with the president of afghanistan,
dr. afgani, on behalf i would like to acknowledge the government of islamic republic of afghanistan for putting the event together. great honor to be able to host president ghani this morning for remarks on veteran's day celebration. we will have a special guest joining us during the event this morning arriving in from the airport, the afghan current minister of finance, dr. mohamed, we will welcome him a bit later when he arrives. president ghani's subject today is entitled service, selflessness and commitment. those words could not be more appropriate given that here in the united states we are observing veteran's day holiday in recognition of all american veterans and military service past and present.
i'm dave, currently a visiting professor here sais, 30-year veteran and a bit of time in afghanistan which i will mention as we go through this a little bit later on in brief remarks this morning. veterans day in 2018 is a particularly note-worthy event. many of you have been following the news from europe that highlight how significant this particular veteran day is. this past weekend, some 70 world leaders participated in series of special commemorations in europe. this november 11th, yesterday, marked 100th anniversary of the end of world war i. the war to end all wars as it was built at the time. ending on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 and after four years of war, one of the most bloody wars
in human kind's history, the participants were exhausted but they were also mindful to have sacrifices of men and women who served in that conflict. at the time the cataclsmic world the world has ever seen. many nations who fought in world war i to remember lessons of the great war but also to recognize the veterans of all conflicts. so we are here today in part to commemorate veterans day in the united states which in this nation it's a time to honor men and women of all era who is have served our country in uniform especially those who served in a time of war. many of you sitting in this auditorium this morning are veterans and a number of you have served in afghanistan. in my own family, myself and both of my sons have served
there together spending nearly 4 years. so as we observe veterans day in america in recognition of november 11th, let's remember those who are still serving at america's longest war. they deserve our thanks, our respect, and our understanding. most of all they deserve to have a nation that knows and cares about what they are doing and remember that this longest war for america is still being fought with americans at deadly risk every single day. these men and women and their afghan counterparts that they are fighting with, deserve to be thought about more than just once or twice a year. our american troops are in afghanistan because all of us sent them there and we ought to make sure we understand why. think about them on this veterans day holiday as we acknowledge the veterans of all
america's wars and thank all of them. we owe every one of our veterans a great debt of gratitude that cannot easily be repaid. let me turn now to briefly highlighting our main event here this morning. i served as the overall u.s. and coalition commander in afghanistan for just over 19 months from 2003 to 2005. ultimately commanding over 21,000 u.s. and partner nation troops there. in that capacity i interacted almost daily with senior afghan government officials and got to know the then minister of finance dr. ashraf ghani quite well. minister ghani at the time was a legendary figure among colleagues and was well known by all of us in the international community in kabul. we knew and we admired him for
relentless professionalism, his boundless knowledge and his steelly determination to put his nation on the right track. his efforts then and his efforts now as president mark him as a leader of remarkable courage and tenacity in the face of daunting obstacles to afghanistans and during success. we are, indeed, fortunate to hear from him here today speaking about service, selflessness and commitment. virtues that echo strongly with our veterans and indeed all americans. so at this time let me turn the podium to dean of john hopkins school of advanced international studies who will formally introduce our keynote speaker. [applause]
>> good morning, i'm vali nasr, thank you general barno for your comments especially on this important day, veterans day and thank you for your service in afghanistan and beyond. it is my pleasure to welcome you to a very special conversation with the honorable ashraf ghani president of the islamic republic of afghanistan. he will be joining shortly via teleconference. president ghani grew up in lower province of afghanistan after attending high school in kabul he began his academic career at the american university in cairo where he earned ba in anthropology. he later earned his ma and ph.d degrees from colombia university and we are proud to say that he joined the faculty of
anthropology department at john hopkins university where he was a professor. he then went onto work at the world bank for overa -- over a decade from various projects around the world and in 2001 returned home as special adviser and in that capacity he helped draft the road map for a new democratically elected government in afghanistan. and when that vision became a reality, president ghani was appointed as minister of finance under the then president carsai, his passion for building a brighter few -- future for afghanistan won him medal, highest civilian award in afghanistan. in 2004 he stepped down from his postto post to become chancellor
in kabul university where he founded the institute and he also coauthored the book, fixing failing states in 2008. in 2014, president ghani ran and won elections to the presidency of afghanistan, we are grateful for willingness to take to speak with us this morning. i would like to welcome president ghani to sais and john hopkins university and we very much look forward to hearing his views. also with us this morning is a member of president ghani's administration dr. mohamed homayun, served as minister of finance and chief adviser to the president, infrastructure, human capital and technology and
before accepting current position in 2015 dr. qayoumi served as president california state university, our conversation will be moderated by retired lieutenant david barno, the distinguished practitioner residence at the school of international service at american university and he's also now a visiting professor at our strategic study's program here at sais, he was the senior american commander of u.s. and coalition forces in afghanistan from 2003 until 2005. we all at sais are looking very much forward this conversation today on veterans day about afghanistan and i would like to thank all of you for joining us today. and in particular i'm honored to welcome president ghan toi our gathering today. mr. president, please. [applause]
[inaudible] >> general barno, members to have hopkins community of which i still consider myself a member, colleagues, friends, ladies and gentlemen, it's a great pleasure to be with you on veterans day. let me thank general barno for the distinguished service in afghanistan. pay tribute to more than a million american men in uniform who served in afghanistan especially to the families of 2,415 men and women in uniform who paid the ultimate sacrifice to ensure our freedom and your security between 2001 and 2018. i would like to extend the
special sympathy of that one army to the family of major taylor, his wife, jenny taylor and his children, megan, alia, jacob, eleanor, jonathan and caroline. he was murdered and he was much beloved. let me thank the government and congress for their support in partnership and the american people especially the taxpayers for their generous support. thank you for this opportunity for a conversation, thank you dr. qayoumi for your president, dedication and distinguished service and friendship. i would touch on about 9 key issues.
first, whose voice am i reflecting, that of that one citizens. citizens are making history. let me also offer illustration. on october 20th, more than 4 million afghans came to vote, they were not risking a traffic accident, they were risking their lives. that's dedication to democracy and to freedom. confirmingconfirming the true mf peace, 2,906 gathered together, issued that urged peace in june 2018. displaying patriotism, the afghan security forces, american
losses in afghanistan between 2001 and 2014 were 2,357. and since 2015 still much regrettable the entire loss of american forces in afghanistan is 58 americans. in the same period, 28,529 of our security forces have lost their lives and become martyrs for our freedom. claiming equality. the use of afghanistan speak for themselves, the women of afghanistan speak for themselves, all in particular demand for balance development in the form of of equality is
clear. seeking markets farmers men and women, speak of farming access and not charity. demanding justice, if people think that afghans want an equal system where some men dominate everything, they need to think twice. the largest demand is against irresponsible use of force and the demand for application of rule of law. there's not a reform, process that's been undertaken that's not received wide public support from reform of interest exam to the university that used to be source of corruption and now one to have cleanest exams for the civil service, for teachers and others. in all these areas, the voice of
the public is clear. to understand facilitate and shape the national conversation, i engage with my fellow citizens both in kabul and in the provinces on a regular basis. why? because society is a stakeholder society and unless you have a face to face conversation in a society which is not marked by cast or major inequalities, you need to look at each other in the eye and have a conversation. when i look at the provinces i see 1 and 3,000 people in groups and we have a large meeting to sum up. since democracy in october 20th, i've been -- i've repeatedly
visited all 7 of our army corp commands and spoken to men and women in uniform, commissioned offers and others, in kabul i averaged meeting 4,000 people a month. why? to understand whether there are emerging trends in public pulses. based on this i would like to argue that a new afghan, rooted and hurt in its traditions but embracing the work and keen to claim a place for our country on the world stage is emerging. i'm honored to voice the aspirations of my fellow citizens and to deliver on their demands for reform across the whole government in the state. what's the context in which we have been operating four years?
the major cat gor -- characteristic is uncertain, part of it is global picture because we are living in one of those moments, 19th century, all that is solid seems to melt in thin air. terrorism and changing nature of war, the industrial revolution, rethinking of globalization and international institutions and organizations and struggles over the definition of the 21st century, definition of islam and regional corporation or general areas of uncertainty. in afghanistan, we've had to in addition deal with simultaneous transitions and security,
political economic and cull -- cultural in in the state and society. in terms of security we have to fill the gap left by departure of 100,000 troops most of them u.s. by the end of 2014. since january 1st, 2015, the afghan security forces have had to assume the burden and they were like 14-year-olds suddenly assuming the responsibilities of a 30-year-old but the change has been significant i will return to. politically, i'm the first person in the history of afghanistan to have succeeded my predecessor on the basis of the will of the people and then to ensure inclusion, form government of national unity, in the election. economically the departure of
over 100,000 american troops and around 600,000 contractors were driving demand, brought nose-dive to the economy, restored it now to 3%. in culture of state and society, the colter of the state was corruption, corruption was the culture of the state. in society because the new actors are coming to the floor and society in the state are engaged in a meaningful conversation that is brought in campusing. and i hope, extremely productive. as foreign policy, it's been inherently linked to domestic policy with focus on renewing fast and partnership with the united states our foundational partner, nato, as well as with nato, with both of these
partners on the first day of our administration, we signed a bipartisan -- bilateral security agreement that legally defines our relationship. in constructive relations in other foreign policy, region, asia, islamic war and global institution. let me turn to south asia strategy that was annunciated by president trump. the south asia strategy has been a game-changer making every stakeholder rethink the premises and modalities of their engagement with the u.s. and afghanistan. the afghan people had been waiting for 14 years for such a policy. by shifting from time bound to condition base approach, it has enabled us to focus on
medium-term goals and take significant risks for peace. we interpret the condition-base approach as preparing the conditions for reliance to reforms, consolidation of democracy and enhancement to perform that will make the constitution particularly the chapter on rights and obligations of the system, distinctive institution and reality and not just an aspiration. to give concrete shapes to the condition-based approach, form compact of the united states that's over 600 indicators. equally we are focusing on
self-reliance. how would we pay for the state of 2024 and the most significant bill of security forces currently $6.2 billion bulk of which comes from assistance, august and september was spent and concluded that we can save at least $2 billion by economizing and the others in two packages, 2.4 billion goes to counterterrorism, which is the commander force and air force and 2 billion for security. minimally we can meet the goal of 2 billion by 2024 but hope to meet the entire because we must show our partners that we are partners and not just recipients.
the south asia strategy very significantly is presenting pakistan with a choice. we hope that they will opt for constructive option to see stable afghanistan as an asset rather than a challenge. we hold the hand of friendship and the prospects of cooperation because key to the fight against terrorism and particularly to the fight against poverty and positively the empowerment of our citizens is regional corporation. let me turn to the war. in 1998 two chinese colonels wrote a book i think thought and
commented on. they described the wars of the 21st century as being unrestricted. we unfortunately are today the site and battleground of unrestricted war. there's no area of our life that is not attacked. mosques, schools, universities, hospitals, public squares, any public arena. this is not a war that is waged against armies, by armies, it is waged against the people and equally attacking our culture, it's attacking our religious harmony which is unparalleled nature in the region. it is driven by transnational terrorism networks and transnational criminal organizations.
drugs are a very important component of it and it's important that the nature of the drugs and how it moves and who benefits from gets to be analyzed and focused upon. it has made possible by state tolerance or state sponsorship without tolerance or sponsorship the containment would have been of different order and the challenge different. we would like to suggest differentiate between the war and afghanistan and the war over afghanistan, the war in afghanistan is the war with one self. war over afghanistan is over the definition of two platforms, platform for regional corporation that we in global
security or platform, or launching pad for regional stability to build terror and criminal activity. we would suggest with humility that the performance of the afghan national security and defense forces needs to be judged by their sacrifice of 28,528 martyrs in the capacity to fill the gap. they have been significant reforms while we have been fighting but i'd like to salute the patriotism of the afghan security forces, every single one of whom is a volunteer with no subscription, nobody is forced and if there was not patriotic impulse i don't think people would sacrifice their lives for pay of $200.
the fifth wave is a term i coin, we are facing the fifth wave beginning with global terrorism and we would again humbly suggest that america's fight is against this waive rather than in afghanistan. afghanistan is a site, it is not the driver of the war. intensification of the war after the adoption of the south asia strategy was predicted by us and unfortunately our prediction has come true. we hope that our other prediction that will be followed by peace process will be borne
out. as we speak in the last week, another round of intense conflict has imposed on us and we feel that this is another response to the failed efforts of election, everything possible was thrown to subvert the election but we will like previous waves continue. peace. we are seeking peace from a stance of national consensus. i was greeted on friday by a 6-year-old girl, who is so self-confident that walked through the stands while i was shaking hands, holding my hand and what she thank was that the
children of afghanistan want peace because they would like to grow in a secure afghanistan. this is the demand in request of everyone. we have owned and let the peace process and the opportunity of the peace process was created by the south asia strategy. there should be clarity that the afghan government is both the political will and the courage to undertake the difficult challenge of peace and we demonstrated this by offering peace to taliban without conditions. we equally offer peace to pakistan to put end and declare state of hostilities between the two countries. should peace not prevail, my other prediction that the two
societies would go to a state of mutual distrust and increasing cultural and social hostility resembling france and germany of 1870 to 1914 is likely to happen. it's brought in intense level of distress and the tension is so thick that you can cut it with a knife. a society when it verges on consensus on defining an opponent, then becomes a difficult society to guide through peace process. but this space is open and we need to open the space. reframing the narrative and options. initially post 911 one set of
possibility and quick reforms that unfortunately afghans who were in charge did not avail themselves of. but we are availing ourselves of the opportunity and in this regard what we have done with the region bears remarks. 40 years ago afghanistan was not part of any calculation in central asia or the caucuses. today we are very proud that all of our central asian neighbors are looking south and we are looking north. we have been engaging the region and a concept that circulated for us namely in asian around where ideas people and goods flow and interact with each other is what is becomes a reality thanks again to dr. qayoumi when the government
was formed, afghanistan was 9 separate islands of electricity and another 18 months it will become one national grid and this is the beginning of a set of massive we hope transformations of energy from central asia to south asia. and other projects are moving forward. cease fire, the june cease fire was testing of assumptions. the women of afghanistan demanded it. i declared it within 4 days and it was -- it was implemented with 98% success, 1% was minor variation and 1% was serious because it took places where the conflict had been. >> -- very recent. the coming of over 30,000
taliban fighters to afghan cities went without a single incident. nobody lynched them, nobody attacked them, what does this show? that society is a willingness to move forward and not be stuck in the past. certain societies and very difficult moments of transition need a degree of historical amnesia. over focus on the past could cost us the future but moving forward is extremely important and that assumption that the taliban fighters will never accept was again proven wrong. those are the ones who openly declared that they were tired of fighting. and most critically done once all the justifications are gone,
the fight today is no religious grounding, not only the afghan followed, ended declaration of the two holy mosques and imams. islamic level of agreements is being prepared. elections. afghanistan's central program since 1747 we've had continuity formed government has been the problem of succession. almost every time with a couple
of minor exceptions succession was contested. the constitution of 2014 provides the framework for solving a problem that not only afghanistan but historically all muslim state and empires have not been able to solve. succession now takes place to the will of the people. circulation of the elite takes place to the will of the public because of this the parliament elections are extremely important marker of coming together. first, i would like to salute the people again because there couldn't be a stronger affirmation than turning out against every possible threat where voting polls, election
officials, people have been systematically attacked for months, where open declarations had been made to tell them not to participate, people participated. second 2,050 candidates participated. the debate was vigorous and quite significant. the results are to be announced but significant generational change took place, a lot of young people came and engaged in the political process which is extremely important. our security forces displayed remarkable valor and discipline, valor and sense that for six weeks systematically created the conditions and on that day they delivered. the enabling conditions.
the air force within 96 hours delivered essentially nonessential material to every place where ground conditions, road conditions were not allowed and the technology on which a lot of international experts told us was not applicable to afghanistan, in written reports, $1 billion had been spent on elections, two, agency in afghanistan, a voter list or any other set of enabling conditions, but the technology that we spent our own money on has been received, what's remarkable welcome to the extent that now members of the complaint's commission that have gone through provinces have come back saying that the people only trust, even if they themselves are candidates, the electronic
voting. it's a simple clearly managed system and it's important, however, the successes were marked by the failures of the independent election commission and now the focus is that the process of preliminary announcement and final results to have election will be made credible, the votes need to be honored and because the election commission is independent, the government in general and i in particular have refrained and remain clear that any interference by government officials will be sanctioned and we've asked the complaints' commission that if there are any complaints against these officials and are documented, made it crystal clear that they would be either punished according to law because
interference is a crime or dismissed and we are totally committed to that. equally, let me be clear that we are totally committed to holding the presidential election in the spring. we are choosing the exact words of the constitution and we want to make sure that the people of afghanistan are the ultimate judges because the next government has to finish, finish chapter of history that began in 1919 and demanded. reforms, let me just highlight some issues. first one is not used to seeing afghanistan emerge as top performer in any industry but a couple of weeks ago they are
doing business indicators, top 10 performers in reform in business environment. there's a generational change, 49% of afghan cabinet is under 40 and this is taking place across both central and provencial government. women participation has increased and we are determined to further increase it. both the youth and the women of afghanistan as well as the others but particularly these two i'm proud to say can speak for themselves. they don't need interpreters. their networks, they are connected and dedicated. creating the legal basis of a functioning state and dynamic economy has been probably most
significant legacy. close to 4000 pieces of legislation have been passed, just to give you some illustration. the criminal code was totally devised. bankruptcy law that had not been revised since 1932, municipal law not revised since 1920, this i think parallels the type of efforts that were taken by countries like korea and when china embarked but particularly korea, hong kong and china and a number of other places. subnational reform has been critical objective. afghanistan in the past has been either experiencing the wrong kind of centralization where everything is stuck at the center or the wrong kind of decentralization where you go
towards strong men rule at the locality without rights and obligation. the village has truly been empowered. national solidarity programs that i had honor of administrating is now being replaced and this program unlike national solidarity is encompassing both urban and rural areas. minmin -- municipal reform was significant. our mayors were elected under voting process. at least 120 submissions to learn and interact with them are really marking. our key weakness is in the area of governance and our focus now to ensure that the governance
comes from the shadow of war and civilian leadership and comes and the last issue is definition of provencial rights and obligations to make sure that we can move forward. anticorruption is a threat that ties everything together. i've personally chaired over 166 sessions of the national council because about 18% to have gdp is in procurement and the state is the most significant actor. we are proud, lead effort that we are moving toward electronic procurement and centralizing procurement so the speed can be
achieved. the center for justice is indicted, peace generals and others and people are serving in prison. but changing the culture of corruption to a culture of accountability is our most significant challenge. this is what i hope the generational gender change and redefinition, we aim to change rules of game. corruption was driven by rules prevailing over formal rules. weak accountability fragmented institutions were a result of this and particularly our security forces were hunted. anticorruption efforts in the army i think has really gone far and, for instance, claims of
soldiers would be practically nonexistent, could not be verified. we still have ways to go but the most significant change that has happened in the area has been our rule of law approach, the supreme court which has a reputation for mismanagement or corruption now today is considered one of the cleanest institutions and i'm honored that i nominated three judges that have been approved and nominated other 3 judges that attorney general office, again, changed from being accused or described in public as a source of driving corruption to one that drives reforms. institutionally anticorruption is critical to us because not because just the international community is in agreement that
anticorruption is fundamental, our people demand anticorruption and, again, let's understand the cost of corruption is born by the poorest and empowering citizens to be selected to be provided with services, et cetera, it's a key to creating trust. regional connectivity has been another major focus. afghanistan had only one terminal in 2014, now we have two more with one in province and we are working both on transmission lines, last week a private sector memorandum was signed where several thousand mega watts of power will be transferred directly by
afghanistan to pakistan, railway, dr. qayoumi is leading effort for railway that could significantly change regional connectivity and tap in other -- to tap in other projects and all are underway. but that's the beginning, we hope our trade with central asia it's every year increased by leaps and bounds and we hope. the corridor that would be launched with india with $800,000 of state support our exports, increase very substantially in recently in mumbai. a couple of weeks ago we launched the first corridor to china and now through turkish
airline we have been able to reach europe and emirates, the land corridors, development, equally the opening of afghanistan was been transformational, connectivity to china has been half the speet brought from three to one week. afghanistan is taking advantage of the close to 3 billion market india, china, the region and moving on. let me conclude, with politics it's a vocation.
my john hopkins period, my colombian john hopkins period were particularly marked on politics as voacation and citizenship where he argued that the public is formed to a conversation. we face impossible lots seemingly impossible odds, we still face very difficult choices and conditions. but the human agency, the afghan seeking dignity based on an immensely rich historical heritage of thousands of years a sense and national unity where
the slogan that i ran with that no afghan is superior to another afghan or inferior to another afghan that's literally paraphrasing the constitution. global partnerships and regional partnerships are our way out of this. we can and must overcome the recent past. next year, 2019 are going to be marked by two an anniversary, the 40th year of soviet invasion, loss of millions, refuge tens of millions and distractions of all our infrastructure and assets but also the 100th year anniversary
of independence when we declared independence in 1919, one of the very few countries that was stable and with vision, the unfinished chapter of 1919 haunts us. it argue that is we must finish and close the vicious cycle. it haunts us because if the vision is not fulfilled, it will become a nightmare. let me argue that despite all of the problems this is a fundamentally moderate society. the extremist groups and individual but the society is a fundamentally consensus seeking and moderate society.
and to own our future, thank you for the conversation, i'm i'm delighted to be with you virtually, let me thank the hopkins community for years of friendship and environment that truly was unique as you know john dewy graduated from there and the seminar was invented there. i've learned the meaning of community through my colleagues and learned enormous amount in particularly when i had the pleasure and honor of teaching some of the best students and working with colleagues. let me also thank mr. josh for making this event happen and dr. qayoumi for being with you.
thank you. [applause] >> thanks so much, president ghani, terrific to see you once again. i've got the honor of moderating some questions that have been posed by our students and then after perhaps addressing a few of those we will open up the discussion for questions from the audience which also includes the media. so here is a few thoughts framed by some of our students here at sais. number one, given the recent security incidents across afghanistan, how would you, mr. president, describe the overall security situation in the country as a whole? >> would you like me to take the questions one by one? >> that would be terrific, sir, if you can do that.
i think i've got 2 or 3 or so from the students and then we will identify people in the audience to ask questions in about 5 or 10 minutes. >> sure. the question of security is the stated risk of collapse, no. why? because as long as we have our commander forces and air force we will be able to retake, are the losses horrific, yes, most of the losses occurred in defensive positions because deployment was static and we are rethinking. what is driving it? what is driving it is that now i will humbly submit the strategies are under attack. we
feel that all of the conditions for a breakthrough are available to move forward but positioning to make sure that peace does not take place from strength but from perceived weakness. have we experienced this before, yes, in 2006 when we came from brussels conference, all six of army corp were attacked and we were able to overcome it. second, six weeks prior to the election we saw some of the worst fighting and we overcame. at that time the media predicted the fall up to 5 provinces. none of that happened. bottom line, the nature of the war is not between armies, if it were that, it would be a different war. what makes this war horrible is
that civilians and institution communities and there global voice to emphatically come and say unacceptable. this type of war is no result that is protective and it's most dangerous thing is that it could break the consensus that forged through years of efforts regarding seeking peace. >> related question on cooperation between the coalition in the united states, its security forces and those of afghanistan, as we look at that long standing now almost 18 years security cooperation effort where would you say it's the strongest today and where would you see that that cooperation needs change or
needs some improvements? >> well, first of all, general barno i would like to thank you as former commander and say thank you to all your predecessor and successors and to say what a terrific privilege it's been for me to work with general campbell, general nicholson and now general miller, unlike the period that i think you commanded afghan government and the united states see totally eye to eye. illustration, one of the most significant reforms was implementation of the inherent law where hundreds of generals would retire with benefits, there's a total renewal of the leadership, that one army that now exists i think you would probably not recognize. it has come to its own.
second, there's a clear division we are doing the fighting and the diego as it is our obligation. the support is precise, it is well thought through and demand driven. one could not have asked for better partners, where we are focused now is make sure systems and processes are on one hand and leadership and management take place but as equal as i brought to you by 2024 afghanistan has to assume the major burden for paying for its security forces. this is a very constructive dialogue. i welcome it and i think the environment of trust is very high. what happens and that's why i singled out major taylor, green
on blue is an area of attack and when that happens, of course, it is very hard and in 2018, american casualties have been 9, again, 9 too many. we are totally focused to making -- to ensure that the penetration doesn't take place. strengthening is along, we've agreed for a four-year reform program which first year has been implemented, implementing that has resulted in doubling of commander force, tripling of air force as long as we continue on this course, i think we will be fine. >> thanks, mr. president. i think as you're keenly aware, i know americans today when they think about afghanistan and even our most recently installed
commander there general miller has spoken about this that the future in afghanistan is not going to be in the security sense a military solution but it's going to have to come from some sort of negotiated settlement with the taliban. can you talk to us a little bit about your assessment on how serious the taliban is about pursuing peace talks with the afghan and the u.s. governments and what you think the prospects of reaching some sort of negotiated settlement today are? >> well, first of all, all wars have to end politically. there are few wars particularly the wars of the 21st century that are going to end militarily. a divided society is not harmonious society and cannot vision and move forward with these.
because of this, as i've stated, we have taken the ownership of the peace process. the kabul process is bearing with us and past 17 years an event like the cease-fire of june had not taken place. i feel that it's now not a condition, not a question of if but when. the international level, there's total agreement between u.s. government and the afghan government to move the peace process forward and u.s. engagement is to ensure that talks with taliban result not in negotiations with taliban but with talks between direct talks between the afghan government and taliban. the islamic that i mentioned is equally very strong. we have challenges demanding in
the region and that's the key promise south asia strategy to be able to persuade particularly the significant actor where sanctuary and logistic support, ideological support is provided taliban openly, pakistan enter in engagement, but the most important area of interaction has to be one and become broaden. i'm committed to this, to make it happen because it's a demand of the site, the price of peace needs to be determined. we are a stakeholder society and once the price becomes clear, we have to renew our consensus so we must have a mechanism of endorsement nationally that brings us sustainable peace. the quest of the afghan people
is for enduring peace, enduring peace we're committed, to make necessity sacrifices, the process, however, must be an open process. peace cannot happen at midnight behind closed doors, it has to -- form an advisory council to make sure inclusive afghan so we can consult on key issues rapidly and i am hopeful. >> mr. president, at the beginning of our introductory remarks today we noted that we are hosting this talk on the commemoration of veterans day here in the united states. in the last decade and a half, thousands of american and thousands of many tens of thousands of afghan soldiers have lost their lives in an effort to protect the security of afghanistan. your forces and the afghan
national security force have taken particularly high losses which continue to mount in recent months. how do you think this continued stress on the afghan security forces, the number of casualties they are taking will affect the ability to contain the settlement and bound their abilities and offensive until some sort of a settlement can be reached? >> thank you again. first, i pay tribute as i did in my opening remarks to american and nato troops according to our numbers between 2001, 453uk troops. nato troops paid ultimate sacrifice, the total number is
3,486. but that number has been reduced. they significantly as i brought to your attention the total number of u.s., uk and nato troops that have lost their lives since 2015 is 71. but is point is that previously americans and nato forces were fighting for us and dying. we have assumed because of this, i think we can say proudly that we are now partners not dependents. our casualties -- our casualties from 2001, 2005 where the world really starts, 2014, 507,004
martyrs. >> our casualties since 2000 is 28,0529. it is a major sacrifice but tribute that the afghan forces, the army has not run away from peace. our command forces have not lost a battle. the key issue is again to emphasize the need, the urgent need for a political approach where regional support for this level of violence inflicted on the people seizes. we have opened up the political process. the united states has emphasized the political process because they were thinking there are
obstacles. when i spoke at the cease fire and declared cease fire, secretary pompeo welcomed it and supported it. we were able to move to that defensive position and that's the key. one of the most important things is to consolidate the basis because they were planned when the army didn't have much to do. a lot of our losses are in static positions and some are from failures of wearing protective gears and others, those aspects will be addressed systemically but again, the word must protest against this type of violence inflicted upon a country where it's bearing the burden. we need a respite, we need a
breakthrough from the vicious cycle, we are not a battleground of proxy wars, we are people who offer a very distinctive vision for being the platform for corporation globally and regionally. >> one last question before we open it up to audience which includes media, what message would you give to pakistan in terms of what your expectations are for how they can help support a reconciliation, a negotiated solution to this long-running conflict? >> we put our relationship with pakistan under three categories. first, support for violence has not benefited afghanistan nor pakistan. the specter needs to be removed
and the way to remove it is support for direct discussions between the afghan government and taliban. second, the undeclared war between afghanistan and pakistan must end. we have not supported any movement against pakistan from afghanistan. we have exercised immense control. secondly, we need to define what is a normal relationship between afghanistan and pakistan and we can offer a lot in the way of cooperation. we are the key to central asia. how will pakistan get to central ash -- asia without stable afghanistan? all the work on energy and others, the connectivity is through a bridge, connector around is to make sure that it's
connecting people so connecting central asia and the caucuses to south asia involves, the third is we need to gather, agree with the united states on counterterrorism. these three sets of relationships are key from the day that president trump announced the south asia strategy, i extended the friendship and several rounds on paper, the document that we have arrived is a really good document. what is our expectation, to translate those commitments into reality and help us reduce the level of violence and move forward to lasting and just peace. >> well, thank you, mr. president, we will open it up now to questions from the audience here. for those of you in the audience who would like to ask a question, i will recognize you, i'm not sure if we have mics or not but if need be i will repeat
your question so it can be heard on the microphone. please identify yourself and your affiliation and please phrase your comments in a form of a question with a question mark at the end. [laughter] >> right, in the front first, front right, yes. let's bring a mic. >> thank you very much, sir. my name is aaron, student at american university and my question to you, president ashraf ghani, if taliban thinks they are in winning position, how can government reach peace deal that's in favor of the nation, thank you? >> the taliban are not in a winning position.
let them disclose their casualties, let them answer to the mothers who have lost their children. let them answer to the wounded and let them answer to communities that because of their interference, deprived of education, of health, of services. where is the positive model of the strength? if they had been able to transform a single village in a positive direction, if they changed the condition of 10,000 youth to change to agents of a constructive effort, the perception of strength is false. this war is supported, enabled by dependents.
it's their choice. are they willing to accept the afghan community as they were accepted during the cease fire or will they reject a social compact? afghanistan's social make-up is a source of richness and the cease fire showed that they're welcome. we will not engage in a peace from position of weakness and again the sacrifice of our soldiers, common commissioned officers, officers, all ranks of our security forces show that is the will is there but my key submission is that the blood letting is unnecessary. on the negotiating table we can arrive in just and lasts peace that allows us to overcome the
[speaking in native tongue] >> for the advantage of everybody else, we would translate. >> the question was whether the united states represented in the peace process adequately consulting the afghan government on the process and then the president's answer was that many of the ideas and the plans have actually come from the afghan
brought to the picture . we have a framework which is that pakistan agreement. the key is to move from talking to taking action, as i repeat. our framework, our national interest is to keep engaging with pakistan and receive a stable pakistan. that we need to see substandard and measurable change. as of yet, that substantial and measurable change for the government has not been seen. but this is what needs to take place and i think the strategy, we are grateful to the united states and other partners that we are keenly seeking this engagement and a
constructive option that is on the table, it's the option that we see and it's an interest ofpakistan . >>. >> alliance rail, uses the director of aiu, and he ukraine . president ghani, thank you for addressing us today. regarding afghans development goals for societal stability, as the former chancellor of kabul university and now the leader of the afghan nation, how did you envision the quote as you said, demand for
balanced development . to the leverage by higher education institutions in afghanistan in context with afghanistan developing goal. thank you. >> thank you. the best job i had was that the university and very proud to be performingthis year but that's the one i love . doctor naomi could provide you a lot better, but i'll just say what is really heartwarming is the way our society elders in particular women are embracing education now. in helmand and practic are, to provinces, i was there recently and in each one there was a remarkable set of statements from the elders,
youth and others and to satisfy groups and they were saying the key area of investment that needs to take place is education. the president of the university got up and said, because it just began, he says look at horse. in 17 years, the investment in horse university was because of abu dhabi's generous help and it transformed it into a center of dynamism. this is across the board, it's been baathist or other provinces. whether u me has been made a critical contribution is now we are creating a platform for learning with hundreds of universities including mit,
but the most significant change likely is to make the curriculum and the support resources from the indian institutes of technology and institute of business for about 2 million of them. we have to fundamentally change from a book focused and teacher focused education to a student focused education. the younger generation is ready for this. again, in the universities we implemented the problem of retirement that is brought a new leadership. when i was in kabul university, the majority of the teachers had degrees from the same university. in barman university, phd is around 63 masters, another eight and another 60, only 30
, 32 of masters figures and i'm siding from memory created degrees. we are witnessing a fundamental change in particularly now, we are focused on the primary and secondary. are other factors, his vocational and technical facts. inland, one of the most advanced countries is trying a 21 percent unemployment. switzerland at 2 and a half. indifference, the a new educational system.we are vocational education is being rethought and is a brilliant afghan woman that is directing this independent agency. so it's really about human capital because the natural capital is immense, and it will strengthen because of environmental change, human
capital is really the future and our corporation again, needs to be online. second technical assistance delivered the whole way is not required. in a station that transfers kabul, had been seeking for over 15 years, we were able to prepare with boston a brilliant firm and everything was done online. analysis six volume framework that enables us openly to really transform, also ways of corporation, definition of education and in particular knowing before the industrial revolution the definition of work and employment is very different and is going to change needs to be taken and i have colleagues like doctor naomi that are in the forefront of this and proud to defer to doctor keio me. >>.
>> we have more room for one more question before i ask the, and express our gratitude once again you president kabul and i would note that we have the opportunity once the president the parts to hear from mister of finance naomi as well within the audience briefly away ask you remain in your seats to listen to his remarks. >> is right here in the golden type. just grab a microphone if we could we could hear that. >> 8000 miles from conflict management, personal president kabul ghani let me congratulate you and your induction into the hopkins society of scholars, universities highest honor and my question remains about the negotiations with the taliban and since eventually the troops will be gone or
highly finished and thailand will be part of the government, what are we negotiating for? that is, what concessions can we expect to get from the town and and what are we negotiating with? that is, what kind of pressure and we put on them? >> thank you professor, it's great to see you. i've always benefited from your views in writing and also debate. the conferences that you had together. it was a privilege to be inducted into the society of fellows, i greatly value it. unfortunately i couldn't come in person, an investor is not ournational security advisor . >> you have peace as a process and not as an event. that we can understand how to reach agreement.
the answer to your question is premature. because we need to sit together to define. so it approaches redundancy, this is not the first time that began in march but then went into the news passing away week, it brought an end to that approach. the team that will start the key task at first will be to provide the table contents and a list of issues. each night it's critical issues and then there are common issues, for instance return of refugees as a common issue. i've reviewed over 100 peace agreements of the 1990s , and they fall in very distinctive categories. one of the most significant will be how do you incorporate the fighters?
do you transform a military movement into a political party? those parts are standard but they are distinctive questions and those. critical questions from both of our sites from us. it's going to be what assurance are we going to have that the deal that is struck is not going to be replaced by another state sponsored group. so commitment must be posted between two parties and commitments regionally, the taliban will have questions to the united states and us that the key is that there's no question that is off the table. the process of negotiation will bring about death, brett
and nuance to the issues and as i brought before to you, this is where we go back. when we are confronted with key questions, we need to consult a range of stakeholder and advisory groups in the piece counsel as mechanisms of that. we need to go with an open mind and in the process understand what unites us, what divides us. how do we overcome the divisions and ensure that approach. equally, it's important to differentiate between peace and security. latin american and central american agreements of the 1990s that endorse actually brought peace but not security. there was an increase in insecurity, that was
criminalization but it's important to see that the public supports, translates security and that was a case where peace is not immediately result insecurity. we have to sure from the perspective of the new generation and particularly from the perspective of that woman, ensuring the gain. of the last 17 years and the chapter of the constitution and how that obligation is going to be a central issue. as well as the constitution needs to be amended, it can only be amended to the constitutionally defined process. so we are prepared to tackle all the issues and we hope we can reach conclusion, thank you for your questions . >> thank you mister president, dean nasser.
>> thank you mister president or a very rich conversation and for joining us today and sharing with us your vision. i would like you to know that we are all wishing for your success and you can count our good wishes as well as all the support we can give at this critical juncture. please join me in thanking presidents ashraf ghani. >> i would like to say thank you to you and to all the participants in today's discussion. and again, thank this community for years of friendship and engagement. >>. >> we are privileged to have with us the finance minister of pakistan who has graciously agreed to address
some of the critical issues the president raised during his comments today. and we will also entertain questions from the audience after his remarks. >> thank you. and good morning and thanks again for this opportunity. first of all i would like to share a very happy veterans day and also attribute to all of the here in afghanistan who bought with our soldiers or the case of freedom and fighting against global terrorism. while the president primarily address political issues i'd like to talk about economic issues and what has happened as in the past four years. of course, when you talk about peace, peace is not
just the absence of violence but how you can really build a society that can function, a world that can really be the leader of its own future and economically survive and be able to thrive and move forward. and in 2014, president ghani had a manifesto for change and this was decades of transformation, a decade of moving from self-reliance from the support of congress that they have received generously from the us and many other nato partners. and as far as that document, he has taken elements from a very, taking elements back to the very basics in terms of how we can really transform an economy that had become much based on support from
the donors. and just to give you an idea in 2014, about that imports of the country was 21 times exports. we talk about the population of over 30 million, when you have an export of less than half 1 billion, how could you make any economy work. basically all what had happened and a lot had happened despite a large amount of funds from the us and others was partners that had come to afghanistan. the economy that had been built into a pseudo-economy, an economy that was a consumptive economyrather than a productive economy . the whole basis was taking everything back to the bases and what are the major changes. the major change, we went back to the basics and the basics were what can we grow in the country, what can we extract from theland, what can we really manufacture ,
what can we create and also how can we get into new technology so that was basically the project restarted. the first element was seeing how we can build infrastructure so we can move forward in all of these areas. give you an idea, and 2001, only six percent of the population had access to electricity and even today about 31 to 37 percent though electricity being as one of those infrastructure of infrastructures, how could you move a country without these basic elements. we started helping and integrated infrastructure plan that included the movement of goods for roads as well as the corridors, especially being in landlocked country and of course landlocked countries always depended on his neighbors and then to look at
movement of energy, given the central asia so energy rich and we look at southeast asia give you one statistic on their side, south asia being one, a fourth of the population and it has 1/20 of the generations installation of capacity of work so even if you increase that energy capacity by five times, you just bring it close to the average we saw quite a bit of that movement as president ghani talk about. in terms of the data we look at apple world internet service is from europe to asia, especially east asia and because of the round that has currently fromthe oceans , it takes a data packet about 100 and three milliseconds to go from europe to asia. while it is aligned and it's back by about 30 to 40 milliseconds in every millisecond is worth about $100 million.
no these were some of the key elements that you really are looking at. some of the key elements we started back in 2000 was changing the rules. some of the laws of the country area for pakistan we have the private sector could invest in electrical generation. transmission and distribution system. on the data, we had a government monopoly on the only entity that can bring all of the fiber optics in installations and owning of it. but now any company foreign or domestic can do and also the idea was what are the ways that we can bring private sector in to the country so because no country has moved from poverty to prosperity and if you look at it for every $15-$20 of grant and aid, that has a similar
impact as one dollar of private sector investment. that's why our whole shift was how we can move toward private sector investment. so along that line, there's the next element was how we could begin to look at the human capital or human capacity that is needed to be able to move in these directions. although since 2002, the number of universities and the number of schools has changed tremendously. back in 2001, the town and we hadhundred students . the school and all the men but today number has increased over 7 million, both boys and girls and a number of universities as moot 2 to 329 public universities and about 130 private universities but unfortunately in the area of quality, not a lot has changed. quality of universities is
not really remained quite low so what we do on the human capital side was finding ways to see how we can connect the needs of the country to the capabilities and the programs we have in the universities of the first element was looking at the curriculum on the k-12 and also looking at location of practical, that they need and also moving to the higher education side. one thing that we just for the curriculum, we went back to the first century he elements of survival skills on how we can make sure that the students know how to read and write, how they can think critically, how they understand their civic responsibility and have a global perspective. how the basic elements of civics and also look at technology in fluency because
we saw those as he elements and how we began changing the curriculum for the k-12. also for vocational-technical we realize that's going to be the major key elements in moving the society forward. we created that tobe a separate society by itself . now we've created, we use germanic rotating vocational technical model to be a more successful one than the anglo-saxon model and we've been working with the germans specifically. we have now created one vocational technical school in every province and in 34 provinces and we will have one district, about 340 districts and in about five years we plan to convert 70 percent of our k-12 high school general education i fool vocational-technical because even in many societies, more than 30
percent and up going into a four-year college education. with college education we have been working on changing the curriculum and also trying to move the laws of teaching, bring more blended education.we've been working with afghanistan as one of the countries working with mip to be able to use, to be part of their open access and later this week i'm speaking in boston at the mit conference along this line. and again, the idea is not to have online education as a replacement but in a blended model, specifically for third world countries where the number is relatively short. if you have good states,
their material ages put online. all across the country, the local universities can use that and we can move from passive lecturers to a more active learning environment for the students. and that basically has been the area on the hard education side. >> i'm glad to say on the vocational-technical list we have over 63 percent of our vocational-technical applications were women. the weird , this is something and we see this in a very ethical and effective way of getting women into in terms of the empowerment and in terms of education and becoming more part of the product of productive economy. on the regional transformation, that had been one of the other roles, specifically central asian countries we were able to develop transit programs set up for agreements. with central asian country
specifically looking at turkmenistan and logic is as well as the other two countries that do not have them in kazakhstan and some with you stand. and as part of it, you created a number of key fronts through china, from afghanistan to politics and all the way to russia as well as what you call lapis lazuli corridor takes us through turkmenistan, caspian sea and azerbaijan, georgia, turkey and europe. and i think all of these with that railroad, the master plan that had been put together creates new elements of connectivity between afghanistan and the rest of the world as well as central asia to one world and sent down to rihanna and pakistan. as well as the hardcourt.
so these are some of the key elements, the key aspects of this mission. a few of the major tournaments and some of the other major reforms that we have done, procurement has been one of those areas has made it quite an open. and a very profitable system. compared to the region as a whole. the process has become quite transparent and it has been noticed by a number of different entities. also in terms of budget this year we have in our minister of finance for three months we have thebudget hearing . it took us three weeks and we get from five, as i have with every department we talk about their budget in an open way but several societies, we had other entities also, so everybody can hear what they have and also what agreements
we can reach and my hope is by the end of this , yesterday i was getting on a plane. i was presented a budget to the senate and in kabul and hopefully in a couple of weeks, if we can get through the senate, we will go through the parliament. and let the lower house and my hope is that the budget will be published on a network and everybody can see only that we can put the next would be all of the expenses of the country. that to me is something that the more the budget and expenses are seen by every citizen, that in itself rises and i believe in that and that would be an element to remove that would help on the reform and, reduce and bring in more transparency so as part of one of the works that we're doing, i'll give you one example of this business basically and as i referred
to one to the documents that president ghani had put together in 2014 as part of what's going to transform the decade of transformation and what we need to do, we went to that document and wrote 200 statements on things that wanted to be done and as part of that, we found that of the 200 statements, 78 of them have been accomplished. 90 of them we have partially accomplished. 22 are in the planning process. to have not been accomplished. and a elements we could not find confrontations a lot of that 200 statements, we have seen 39 percent accomplished. 25 percent partially and the other 20 percent in progress or what one percent not achieve.
so are there challenges in afghanistan, absolutely there are tremendous challenges but i think compared to where the country was , where it has been, in terms of the mission in 2014, he and forth with 21 percent was exports, today sometimes, sometimes his seven times humanity. it should be the other way around and afghanistan should have a plan where it can be measured exporting countries rather than import and the plans that we put together for the next five years which we will present in geneva as part of thediscussion we had in geneva on the 28th . the country can reach self reliance by 2025 given the security conditions to be one of the key factors and if that happens, basically in terms of the tremendous aid afghanistan has received and drawn down to what aid other countries are receiving.
so the plan that had started in 20 2014 has really been working in by 2024, we hope we can reach that level of self reliance. one of the factors on one of those budgets that the president referred to on the security budget right now is about 6.2 billion. government is putting 440 million of it. this coming year is moving to 538 , making 2020, it's going to be 1 billion and 1 million , by 2024 is going to move to 4.4 billion and with the changes you are trying to make on that as well as trying to make some of the major elements of procurement central, i think we can make a serious achievement. if you're going to be the first year that you are able to reduce the gap, we are reducing the gap in this sense, reducing all
ministries and several ministries, we're going to bring all these wonderful ways that we can control the government's operational budget and my comments every one of my colleagues in the cabinet has been with every organization cannot operational budget by 10 percent a year, because you should be able to find 10 percent every year in terms of how we see reduced losses, how we can use technology and improve efficiency so that basically is the program that we started. i think i don't want to be conscious of time and so there will be time for questions that you have so again, thank you for the opportunity, thank you for this to be able to address after the president ghani to open it up for questions i want to take a few questions but before we wrap up i'll
>>. [inaudible] one of the things that appears to be stopping economic development is the ability of electrical power power factories. for instance, a huge amount of agriculture doesn't get processed and then you know, it's all the cascading effect. what are the changes since 2014 in the ability to generate electrical power and are there any factories that have been created as a
result? >> right here in the blue-collar. >> i'm a student at johns hopkins, conflict management and if you'd allow me to ask a political question about the nature of relationships between india and pakistan . what we need to happen between india and pakistan for pakistan to prioritize to central asia to a stable afghanistan over the supposed deal between pakistan and india they're concerned about? >> this will be our last one i think. >> thank you, my name is scheherazade, i work for refugees international and my question is regarding the security issue . the taliban accused resident
ghani's administration of being a puppet government for the americans . exactly in what way can the afghan government do to look more credible in the eyes of the taliban? >> and our last question in red . >> thank you. elaine schrader, associate director for kiev ukraine. besides very important energy sector, what other sectors do you see as being critical to the economic development for stability in afghanistan? >> i'll start with the first question and try to address the question briefly. the comment was in terms of ambassadors visit to
afghanistan and his role in the peace process,what kind of role the afghan government would have . first of all, the meeting a few days ago president ghani referred to with lasagna was in that meeting when he met with the council as well as a member of women in afghanistan, and his statement was that the us government wants to use its influence in bringing the two sides together, that's going to be the afghan government and the taliban to see what kind of environment and conditions they will be working on. so the us is not really putting any specificissues along that . this was basically a quote that i said, once he gets too high lasagna, you can make
them the most common. which brings me to the question about the callahan's allegations and the us government that the government is a puppet government. so afghanistan government has been elected by over 30 million population. and the whole 30 million people are puppets of the us, then maybe you're right. when people have gone to actual elections and their posted for these people, how can that be? it's about time that this kind of statements and all of these rhetoric, people two weeks ago when they had the parliamentary elections. how many places people will take these chances where they could be blown apart by a suicide bomber. for snipers and themselves doing both. that's the kind of desire that afghan people have for ringing that government and
they show that in both men and women. i think it about time that rhetoric that has been part of something to change because they cannot come up with anything. the government has stated that the colorado working this part of the political part of the country. without anything in any preconditions. but there has been key elements, first of all , the afghan constitution has to be respected, afghan constitution can be changed but that constitution has to be accepted and women that one , it has to be people, they have to accept that that we can work and it has a number of key elements and one of those elements ishuman rights . those ones are red lines. >> so i think when we talk about, we want, then stick on that part of the democratic
society. as part of a group that can work with them and live within a democratic society though the taliban and their supporters, they then realize that this is not 1996. the afghan population as a whole, the kind of democracy that despite all of its issues and all the challenges , the genie is out of the bottle. you cannot put it back in the bottle. >> coming in terms of the questions for pakistan and india, india has been a traditional and long-term partner for pakistan. culturally, commercially and so many things we had so many common heritage, so many common elements and there has been a long-term partner, they will remain a long-term partner. afghanistan interests,
pakistan interests serve a similar purpose. afghanistan has no secret deals with india. all of their relationships that they have is based on trust, based on two countries , two sovereign governments and two people that have a long history and they will continue to have strong cultural ties, educational ties as well as commercial ties. our hope is that pakistan, we have a similar relationship with pakistan but it's pakistan have to decide what they would like to do and where they would like. but let's take one statistic about pakistan. pakistan is the sixth largest population in the world. it has an economy smaller than israel so it has all of this conflict. >> for the betterment of the people of pakistan, i think it's better that there will
be not only peace but closer linkages and ties between afghanistan and pakistan and india and central asia as a whole. this whole region is right for being very functioning economic ecosystem. right now that's the least integrated region of the world economically. it's not helping anyone. so i think for that purpose, i'll justgive you one other perspective , you talked about south asia as a whole. pakistan, when they finished their current projects that they have, they'll have 25,000 megawatts. there a country of over 200 million people. for an average economy needs one megawatts for every 3000 people which means for a country to have an average economy, they need 200,000
megawatts and the rhetoric we bring is not the current government, the prior government was as of 2019 they will be able to sell electricity and one of the agreements we have in central asia and pakistan had to work with central pakistan to add that common, that pakistan and sell electricity to central asia even though it economically may sound crazy but we had to do that for pakistan i think this is basically why we hope pakistan and see that as a way on how we can work together. as a region, as equals as sovereign nations. what a region that can have a future together. successfully, where economically and politically the areas can work together. that has been the policy that the government has with four.
coming back to the question in terms of electricity, as the president referred to, if you go back to 2014, we were nine power islands. we have work in power grids from two years to 220,000 bolts, the grid would be finished so if we want, the capitals will be connected for 30,000 bolts. and about a year we will be finishing 500 kva power range on theeastern side, on the western side . he referred to turkmenistan and pakistan, that will finish the lesser part and the past 15 months, we've connected 15? in the past 15 months we connected nine provinces to the power grid.
think of some of the worst provinces in iran, we're paying electricity rates . our rates was dropped by a factor of five or six. and to give you in terms of timing, and the 50 years we had not connected nine provinces so we made enough progress? there's a lot more that's needed. but compared to where we were , the progress we've been making good progress but i totally agree that as i stated in my earlier comment that electricity, the infrastructure. but again, in the it systems, the work that we're doing in terms of productivity with internet, especially with one agreement you made with china through the wall, there's a small area that has common borders. we are in the process of reviewing the internet connectivity's to this area and if we can connect her that time, data between
europe and asia and drop by over 30 milliseconds. that could be one of the shortest paths of china's internet traffic although it's not only to the belt but to africa. as well as a shorter time you caucuses and the possibility of alternate transports and central asian countries other than trans siberia. so these are also, with the lines connecting until asia to warmer waters to the gulf, these are the paths that not only have connectivity division but brings countries of the region together. that basically has been a policy of the afghan government and we've made a lot of progress in the past years and putting a lot of the soft elements together the hope is in the next five years a lot of those can
transform into putting a hard infrastructures is some of these railroad lines and some of these major powerlines from central asia to south asia as well as the sports. >>. >> from impacting mister kaylee with his insightful remarks. >> that complete our event. thanks for attending and please remember our veterans on our veterans day holiday today. [applause]
>> in the view of the warren commission, they described boldly the circumstances of the assassination of president kennedy but is there more to this story than the warren report ever discovered? >> this weekend on real america on american history tv, 1967 special news series, a cbs news inquiry: the warren report anchored by walter cronkite answering unanswered questions into john f. kennedy's assassination saturday 10 pm eastern, lee harvey oswald and whether he acted alone to assassinate president kennedy . >> it seems we should try to establish the difficulty of that rapidfire performance, hence our next question, how fast to that rifle be fired? >> what real america at 10 pm eastern on american history tv on c-span3.