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Indonesia’s assistance in politico-economic dev. crucial: Ex-Afghan diplomat

By Akhtar M. Nikzad-KABUL: The former Afghan ambassador to Indonesia said that Jakarta has signed 12 agreements with Kabul and is keen to have deep bilateral political, economic and cultural relations.

Speaking at a gathering organized by the Rana Think Tank, Ghulam Sakhi Ghairat said that unfortunately the Afghan government could not benefit from the agreements because it lacks a clear foreign policy.

Regarding role of Indonesia in development of Afghanistan, the former Afghan ambassador said that Indonesia is a populous and powerful Islamic country in the region and can play momentous role in political and economical areas.

He said that due to lack of foreign policy, Afghan government has not-so-fruitful relations with the regional countries, adding that Indonesia is one of the countries with which the relations have dropped to low level as result of the government’s inattention.

Indonesia has around 250 million individuals. It has 5 up to 6 percent economical growth and it is one the fourth largest democratic country of the world. Jakarta has good relations with Islamabad—a political rival which is alleged of supporting insurgency in Afghanistan.

Ghairat stressed that Afghan government in the current situation needs to regulate its foreign policy and create balance in the regional policy through expansion of friendly ties with Jakarta.

According to him Jakarta has signed 12 agreements and memorandum of understandings with Kabul including in field of politics, military, economical and cultural cooperation.

The ex-diplomat said that all the agreements were approved by parliaments of the two countries and requires efforts of the Afghan government to implement these through diplomacy.

“Some of the agreements are under the process of implementation but unfortunately multiple bilateral agreements with Jakarta remained on desk due to negligence of the government,” he said.

He asked the government to regulate its foreign policy for attracting economical and cultural cooperation of regional countries, particularly Indonesia.

Nearly 42 percent of Indonesian population is Muslim and the remaining is Buddhist. Around 200 races are living in Indonesia.  Due to expansion of scientific and cultural centers, it is known as the biggest Islamic and cultural country in the region as around 500 universities and educational institutions are active in that country.

The former ambassador said that Indonesia is the founder of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) established on August 8 in 1967. Its aims include accelerating economic growth, social progress, and socio-cultural evolution among its members, protection of regional peace and stability, and opportunities for member countries to resolve differences peacefully.

He underlined that Indonesia has close relations with Pakistan and if the Afghan government strengthen its ties with Jakarta it would pave the ground for balancing political relation in the region.

The participants believed that enhancement of diplomatic relations with Jakarta could have momentous outcomes in improvement of professional knowledge of Afghans.

Indonesia in the last four years had good relations with Afghanistan and trained tens of Afghan policewomen. At least 56 university students are pursuing higher studies there.

They stressed the Afghan government should regulate its foreign policy and leave out its passive foreign policy behind and reinforce bilateral cooperation with regional countries.

Indonesia acquired its liberty in 1945 from Holland. Ahmed Sukarno, leader of the liberal party, was selected as president. Afghanistan was one of the countries that formally recognized its freedom and began diplomatic ties in 1950. After several decades of civil wars in Afghanistan, the political relations with Indonesia declined. In 2011, Kabul recommenced the friendship ties with Jakarta.

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