Translation of President Ashraf Ghani’s Inauguration Speech

Honorable compatriots, sisters, brothers and attendees;
I offer my best regards to you all and my compatriots all across Afghanistan and abroad. May peace be upon you.
I pay tribute to all our fallen heroes and heroines, civilian and military, particularly our fellow citizens who lost their precious lives during the commemorative event of Shaheed Abdul Ali Mazari. The incident will be probed precisely, thoroughly and transparently. My order on this is clear and explicit.
Thanks to the determination of the dignified Afghan nation and our valiant defense and security forces, we are able to celebrate implementation of our national collateral, the Constitution of Afghanistan.
Today we once again celebrate the maturity of the republic in our country. The presidential election is over. I tolerantly and patiently respected the election process and never let Arg – the Presidential Palace – become the political headquarter of a certain group and will not let it in the future.
Today I convey this message to every Afghan that the government is yours, and I am only here to serve you all, whether those who elected me or those who cast their votes for other nominees.
The days of division and favoritism are over. Today is the day of connection, the day of unity, and the day to envision a prosperous future for our nation.
Today is the day to synchronize our efforts and means to alleviate the pain and suffering of our people. Today is the day to support and safeguard a legitimate and elected government.
My government will be the government of the entire Afghanistan. The State Builder was a dynamic team to bring people around one election ticket while the government I am going to establish will not be exclusively reserved to the State Builder ticket.
End of the election signifies that the notion of republic prevailed and we managed to overcome the conspiracies and plots. And End of the election means the triumph of people over uncertainties and speculations.
I believe nobody is a loser in the election process, but each and every one of us exercised utmost to play a constructive part in consolidation of the democratic values. I take pride that I had people in my election team from every rural area and corner of Afghanistan, but I am ambitious to knock every Afghan’s door and get his idea on my government.
The era of totalitarianism is over. The era of authoritarianism is over. The era of favoritism is over. The era of intimidation is over. It is only the unity and solidarity that can stitch the nation together.
I extend gratitude to all who attended the poll centers and ask my election rivals to join hand with me to serve shoulder to shoulder to our country. We need to synchronize our efforts and abilities to let our people experience the flavor of peace without being concerned of the future and apprehensive of being disenfranchised. Republic is an overarching umbrella. We spare no efforts to further consolidate this inclusive structure, embraced by all.

Honorable Nation of Afghanistan
In order to prepare the grounds for cooperation and alignment with all prominent political strata, that were engaged in presidential election, under the umbrella of a republic system, I will continue to work with the current cabinet, remained from the National Unity Government. Subsequent to extensive consultations, we will form an all-inclusive government, accepted by all.
I remain committed to fulfill all pledges that I made during the presidential election campaigns. Afghanistan needs a strong and stable government, and I and my colleagues are decisive to form such a government.
Our commitment is to ensure peace and put an end to the four-decade conflict. I assure you that a dignified peace under a republic system is inevitable.
I am a guardian to protect the national interests of the country. This requires great patience and profound understanding to enable me to sincerely speak for the rights of each and every one of my fellow citizens.
Afghans are fed up with being in exile. Afghanistan is the common home of all tribes as a garden is beautified by various and colorful flowers. The Garden of Afghanistan must not be vacant of its flowers. Being refugees and vagrancy must not be repeated. Enough is enough.
[Uzbeki Part]
My dear compatriots;
The destiny of various Afghan tribes and ethnicities are intertwined. Therefore, their unity and accord can help us overcome various challenges.
Our eminent Uzbek scholar, Amir Ali Sher Nawaei has captured it the best
He has metaphorically described our country as ‘eye’ and people as the ‘eyeball/pupil’.
We have established cordial and friendly relations with majority of the countries taking into account our national interests. Our ties with our western partners/allies are foundational and robust. We welcome the US peace agenda and we have our civilian and military sectors mobilized and prepared to deal with the current status and to continue to provide services to our people.
The Consultative Loya Jirga on Peace that was held in April-May 2019, was a testimony that our nation yearn for peace and gave the mandate to the government. We will proceed the peace agenda with consideration to our people’s demands and in line with our national interests. I assure you that no tribe, ethnicity and political and social strata of the Afghan society will be excluded from our peace plan. Be assured that our pluralistic society will be further strengthened.
As I said two days ago, releasing Taliban prisoners and peace and security of people are interrelated. I will issue a decree tomorrow that lays out the details of the releasing process. Fortunately, we have reached a framework where significant reduction in violence will take form in exchange for releasing Taliban prisoners, so that people can feel its tangible outcomes.
The negotiating delegation will be finalized tomorrow. The negotiating team has been finalized after through consultations with influential figures, political parties, civil society and representatives of women, youth, Ulama and other classes of the Afghan society. We appreciate our American allies for their efforts to end the forty-year war in our country through a political settlement.
We will define terrorism with consideration to our security interests. If peace with the Taliban will not prevent emergence of Daesh and in contrast help this rootless and meaningless group to gain ground in our society and massacre our people; we need to ask the question “What are the dimensions of peace?” Assault on mourners of Shaheed Mazari Commemorative Event reveals there are still symbiotic and organic relations between the Taliban and Daesh. In order to clarify type of this relationship in terms of ideology and operation, we need to enter into deep negotiations with the Taliban and their sponsors. Taliban are being provided the strategic support from out of Afghanistan and we want this strategic patron, which is Pakistan, become a partner for peace to prevent possible pretexts and justifications in the future. On the other words, we want to prevent the terrorism to takes new forms, with the flag color change from white to black but pursue the same objective which is killing Afghans.
In any type of garments you disguise,
I recognize you from the way you walk
Afghans are naturally curious people with entrepreneurial skills. Beggary has no place in our culture. Today, we have to extend our hands to others to get assistance, which is the implication of the vicious war and interferences. I promise I will lift the government out of bureaucracy and bribery to allow for increasing our revenue. Today, we are able to cover a part of our expenses with collection of 20 percent of our revenue, which is 2 billion dollars. God willing, cleansing the government from the dust of administrative corruption during the next five years, our revenue will be multiple times higher.
We have taken significant steps for exporting our agricultural products. Creating the value chain for black pine nut is an example of that; similarly, we have plans for every agricultural product. Such plans only demonstrate one point that is, Afghans hands must need be extended to other countries for money. Enough is enough! We have to fill our pocket with our own income. We have to put an end to this historical humiliation that others come and save our economy. This sacred soil has everything; it only lacks government coherence and peace. We are strongly committed to bringing sustainable peace and build further coherence in the government.
Afghanistan is like a family, in which the number of its members should be clear. Census, distribution of electronic IDs, strengthening Central Statistics Organization, as a key authority, are among my top priorities as well as my team’s. Afghanistan has rich mineral resources. We should take advantage of these resources. We have been talking about them for ten years, but now people want these reserves, which are like treasures under the soil, to be extracted. We will surmount any legal, administrative and other obstacles to our mining sector. I call upon the Taliban to join hand with us to establish peace and prepare the grounds for legal extraction of Afghanistan mines. I ask them come and show their courage like us, and think through liberation of the nation from this humiliation and dependency on foreigners.
We turned Afghanistan’s location into a real asset. People used to term Afghanistan location a controversial issue while geography has placed Afghanistan in one of the best places of the world. We are surrounded by human civilizations and dynamic economies. We will eliminate Afghanistan’s economic recession by establishing relationship with each and every of these civilizations and countries, and we have partly done it. We share common languages as well as historical and cultural values with our neighbors near and far, which is our point of strength. Respecting the traditions and languages of our country has caused every Afghan to feel him/herself owner of this soil, who enjoy equal rights at every corner of the country.
On building human capacities, I am honored to remind thousands of Afghans are pursuing higher studies abroad and tens of thousands of boys and girls are studying in domestic universities. These are our national capital. Afghanistan is lifting itself out of the ditch of illiteracy and poverty as its reason. Our attention to cultural areas has been one of the sweetest jobs of mine during my government. You have been witnessed of our achievements such as construction of mosques from our own budget, renovation and restoration of historical palaces and mansions, strengthening the television and radio apparatus that are shining these days, and appointment of competent and diligent cadres in cultural areas.
Good governance begins by listening to the people’s words. I heard from people of villages, districts, associations, companies, elected councils on daily basis. They know what this country needs. The problem is the bureaucracy where government offices haven’t been able to understand what people want and need. Bringing alignment to these activities can enhance effectiveness. We will do that. They have to offer what the nation demands. Good governance is ensured by a balanced chain of demand and supply. It means, the nation demands for one thing and the government supplies something the nation doesn’t need. I will bring this alignment with your determination and in coordination with my colleagues.
Good governance is not derived from the theories in the books; it is beyond that. It is, on the other hand, is to decrease distance between the nation and government, so that the people feel themselves the owners of every office or authority. We work to realize this aspiration of our people.
Election is over. I didn’t say a word of complaint and let the electoral commissions do their jobs in order to respect the law and the electoral process. Now, the people of Afghanistan expect effectiveness and expedition of activities from their government. I echo the demand of the National Assembly that the culture of acting ministers must come to an end. Therefore, I am obligated to form an inclusive and politically prominent cabinet. No tribe, corner and political stratum of the country will be absent in our government. I have repeatedly said and I repeat it now, that power is an instrument to serve people, not a goal. I believe in this philosophy and will prove it to my nation through delivering service with sincerity and free from prejudice.
I extend my wholehearted gratitude to all international allies of Afghanistan who provided assistance to Afghanistan in development and civilian areas within the last 18 years.
Assistances of the European Union, IMF, Asian Development Bank and the World Bank have been proved to be efficient as they are based on conditions and vis-à-vis reforms, and are directly spend through the Afghanistan budget.
I also thank all those donor countries for their assistances to the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund, Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan, and Afghanistan Infrastructure Trust Fund. It depends to our international partners to ensure efficiency and transparency of the projects they are implementing.
Our vision for the future is grounded on the following fundamentals:
In economic areas, we pursue a goal to protect international assistances to provide the grounds for repatriation of Afghan refugees, eliminate poverty, deal with environmental/climate change, to ensure coordination at regional level, and build infrastructures.
Trade and transit with our neighboring countries and other international partners are among our paramount priorities.
It is also noteworthy and of a great importance to attract regional and international investments, particularly for those projects that connect Central and Eastern Asia to Soothe and West Asia.
We hope to form a high regional and international coalition to implement peace, where we can seek full cooperation to ensure our independence, security, stability as well as the regional and international security.
Afghanistan can secure its national interests and stability in maximizing the international and regional cooperation and minimizing the regional and international confrontations, because we can take advantage of the potentials of our networks and the second and third generation of our diaspora in Europe, America, Canada, Australia and other countries. We want to take advantage of this great human capital for bringing peace, coordination and economic cooperation.
By seeking help from Almighty Allah and counting on the determination of my compatriots, I swear that I will fulfill my responsibilities with honestly and integrity.