This letter was received by Azadi Afghan Radio on Oct. 31, 2000.
Since this Task Force is supporting the Al Gore campaign and has raised issues of interest to the Afghan-American community in relation to the US elections, for the sake of journalistic fairness and equal time, AAR also urges the Afghan-American supporters of the Republican ticket to submit their opinions, concerns and endorsement for posting prior to Nov. 7. azadi@
Afghans for Gore 2000
Letter by Afghan-American Task Force for Political Action
As you may know, Afghanistan does not feature prominently in both the Democratic and Republican parties’ Foreign Policy agendas during election 2000. Why is it that a country with one of the world’s worst political, socioeconomic, health and human rights conditions, and a country subjugated to direct foreign aggression, which has turned it into a hub for extremist and terrorist elements - posing a direct threat to US interests and regional security - is left out of the US presidential elections foreign portfolio?
Aside from political short sightedness, we believe that the lack of visibility of the Afghan-American community as potential voters in the election radar screen, are some of the reasons for the omission. We think that it is not too late to bring some attention to the subject of Afghanistan and the Afghan-American agenda even now and in the post-election period. With the help of other Afghan-Americans and other supporters, we have launched an emergency campaign "Afghans for Gore 2000" to mobilize the US-based Afghan communities, other Muslims and concerned women’s groups to vote for the Democratic candidate, Al Gore.
After studying both presidential candidates' positions on many issues such as US foreign policy, global security, women’s rights, minority rights, healthcare, democracy and world peace, we think Al Gore addresses some of the issues of concern to most people in the voting community.
We have contacted the Gore-Lieberman campaign headquarter as well as the local campaign offices and asked that Afghanistan be considered as art f any future policy formulation. They have shown interest and are working to get the campaign and its foreign policy staff to seriously pay attention to the issue. We have urged the democratic presidential candidate to consider the following:
1. The Afghan-American community is concerned about the protracted nature of the conflict in Afghanistan and the lack of adequate international response and American leadership thus far to resolve it. The community would like to see a serious effort on the part of a future Democratic administration to seek a just and durable solution to the conflict. This requires appointing a seasoned and prestigious US envoy for Afghan affairs in consultation with Afghan-American leaders supportive of Al Gore.
2. The three main issues that require serious consideration at the policy level by a future Democratic administration are:
a. US resolve to halt foreign,
especially Pakistani extremist, interference and aggression in Afghan affairs
by means that can effectively alter the situation -- short of US or foreign
b. To work toward the empowerment
of the Afghans by creating the conditions for free political self-determination
and democratic rule with US support for a representative mechanism such as a
traditional Grand Assembly. This requires a resolute policy to counter the
threats of extremism (in the form of the Taliban), terrorism, human rights
abuses and drug production.
c. Adoption of a sustainable policy
to support the basic rights of the people of Afghanistan. A major effort to
condemn gender oppression and to render direct assistance to the needy,
including women and children. Also, to increase US admission of Afghan
refugees, especially those endangered by Taliban policies.
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