Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah , the Chief Executive of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan were sworn in on Monday at a grand inauguration ceremony.
In addition to H.E Hamid Karzai, the former President of Afghanistan and his Vice-presidents, in attendance at the grand inaugration ceremony were also H.E. the President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Mamnon Hussain, H.E. the Vice-president of India Hamid Ansari, H.E. the Vice-president of the Islamic Republic of Iran Shariatmadari and a great number of foreign representatives, the country’s Jehadi leaders, the Chief Justice, Heads and members of the two Chambers of the National Assembly, the Cabinet members, generals and military officers of the Afghan armed forces, foreign ambassadors and representatives of the foreign diplomatic corps in Kabul and some Afghan government employees.
First, President Karzai delivered his speech in which he said, “Having served my nation for the past thirteen years, I thank God the almighty and the merciful very much, who gave me the honor of transferring power today to a new President of Afghanistan.”
He added, “Our prideful nation proved with its great participation in the [presidential] elections and by the tolerance and patience it showed in the post-election period that it has political maturity and wisdom.” He stressed, “Our people showed that they want peace, and the stability of their country and its system”
Hamid Karzai said that he strongly believes that the country’s new leadership has received the message of the nation about peace and that it would place peace and stability in the country at the top of its priorities.
Subsequently, Mohammad Ashraf Ghani was sworn in as the President-elect of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, by Chief Justice Abdul Salam Azimi.
Later, General Abdul Rashid Dostum as the first Vice-president and Sarwar Danish as the second Vice-president took oath of allegiance administered by President-elect, Mohammad Ashraf Ghani.
President Ghani then signed the first decree of his term, creating the post of the Chief Executive for Dr. Abdullah.
Eng. Mohammad Khan was appointed as Dr. Abdullah’s first Deputy and Haji Mohammad Mohaqiq as his second Deputy.
The President also signed another decree appointing Ahmad Zia Masoud as his Special Representative in Reforms and Good Governance.
President Ghani then administered oath of allegiance to the Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and his deputies Eng. Khan and Mohaqiq at the inauguration ceremony.
Later, Dr. Abdullah addressed the ceremony in which he said, “ By forming a national unity government that is based on a political framework, we are committed as one unified team in this sensitive juncture of our history to take major steps for protecting Islamic values, making fundamental reforms and changes at all levels and within all administrative and political structures of the country, on the basis of cooperation, mutual trust, sincerity and tolerance.”
He added, “Now it is time that all the people, politicians and the elite of the country as well as the international community stand deliberately and more responsibly by the national unity government so that we can turn the ideals of our great nation into reality.”
Later, in his address to the ceremony, President Ashraf Ghani quoted the messsage of the first Caliph of the Islamic Umma- Hazrat Abu Baker Sediq (pbuh), and called it a guideline for himself, “O people, now I have been elected your leader, although I am no better than anyone of you. If I do something the proper way, support me but If I do something wrong, guide me. truth is honesty and untruth is dishonesty. The weak among you are powerful in my eyes, as long as I do not get them their due and the powerful among you are weak in my eyes, as long as I do not take away from them what is due to others.”
While thanking Hamid Karzai for the peaceful transfer of power, the President said that with the selfless support of the brave Afghan nation and under the wise leadership of H.E. Hamid Karzai, the Constitution and the peaceful transfer of power was institutionalized in the country.
The President also prayed for the souls of all those who lost their lives during the presidential elections, and praised the sacrifices of the national security forces.
President Ashraf Ghani said, “We wish that by then, politics in our country would not be a tool used to cause instability but rather a tool used to ensure durable stability” . He added, “Stability is the fundamental goal of our national unity government.”
The President said, “National unity government is what Afghanistan needs. A national unity government does not mean division of power but rather it means the division of duties and responsibilities. This government represents the will, desires, and ideals of the people of Afghanistan.”
Urging the Afghan people not to be concerned of their future, President Ghani said, “In the future, our country’s important location, waters, natural and human resources will bring about a profound economic change in the country.” He added, “With the potentials that we have, Afghanistan would be a more different country within the next 25 years and if God is willing, the golden era of Afghanistan would begin.”
The President noted that his emphasis is on a durable but not a short-term peace and then went on saying, “Social justice is the cornerstone of peace, a peace that causes injustice in a society, it would be temporary and would not reach us to stability.”
“Today we proved that we have become a tolerant people. This tolerance should help us bring a durable peace to the country.”, The President added.
On the good governance, President Ashraf Ghani said, “We want our honorable MPs not to ask for personal meetings with the leaderships or mangerial departments of the ministries.” “We also ask them to avoid recommending employment, discharge or transfer of anyone within the state institutions.” , he added.
Pointing to the reforms in the judicial branch of the country, the President said, “Today I ask the Supreme Court to appraise all its courts’ staff within a month, based on the principle of reward and punishment.”
While calling the executive branch of the state his helping hand, the President said, “Based on a well-devised and clear policy, the duties of the government institutions would be specified so that the overlap of duties would be avoided between the ministries and other institutions.”
On the fight against corruption in the country, President Ghani said that the briber and the bribee are both source of evil and corruption , adding that strict legal actions would be taken against the perpetrators.
The President said, “As the Commander in Chief, it is my responsibility to safeguard the life, dignity and safety of our national security forces.”
“I also praise the unsparing sacrifices made by the national army, police and NDS forces, and also I commit that I would not spare any efforts for further professionalization of these institutions, “ he added.
President Ashraf Ghani said, “All the provinces of Afghanistan have special importance and all our citizens are considered first-class.” “There is no second or third-class citizen in this country. Therefore, a balanced development is required in Afghanistan, it is an approach that we would follow in our governance,” he added.
Calling economy, security and human resource as the triangle of stability, the President said, “Security is ensured through use of force but stability comes from legitimacy, acceptance and public participation. He added,” Until now, the term of security was used in the country more in the sense of physical safety of individuals, but in the subject of security, the most important of all is human security or human safety. Without economic development, we cannot ensure human safety or human security.”
In his address, the President said that the new government of Afghanistan want to have stronger relations with the neighbors, Islamic countries, Europe, the United States, Canada, Asian countries including Japan and key international organizations.
At the end of his address, President Ashraf Ghani said, “It is incumbent upon us all to consider ourselves the owners of this soil, and accept that the honor, dignity and pride of our country is intertwined with the honor, dignity and pride of all of us.”