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Karzai inauguration: Views from Afghanistan

Hamid Karzai has been sworn in as Afghan president for a second elected term. In his inauguration speech, he announced a conference to tackle corruption and a national gathering to help bring peace to Afghanistan.

Here, ordinary Afghans discuss the challenges ahead and offer advice to their president on how to deal with them.

Nazir Ahmad, student, Helmand province
Nazir Ahmad

Karzai has been president for eight years, but he didn't bring the change we had hoped for. After 30 years of war, all we wanted was peace.

My concern is that he has not gained the trust of the Afghan people and I do not think he'll be leading the country in a good way. It wasn't a good election - many things were untidy and there was too much fraud.

The security situation where I live has become worse in the last year or so. I can definitely say the Taliban have strengthened their position in Helmand province.

Afghan people are extremely bored with Karzai and the way he governs the country

Now that he has been sworn in as president, the first thing he should do is to protect the borders and prevent insurgents from entering the country. That can only be done with the help of the ISAF and the US forces as they are here to protect the country.

The best way to get rid of corruption is to have a healthy cabinet with capable members, which is not the case with Karzai's government.

The current system is really bad for poor people - those with money get richer and the poor people become even poorer. Karzai must work to develop the country, build factories, attract foreign investment.

There is not much hope at the moment. Afghan people are extremely bored with him and the way he governs the country.

Rasool Mobin, NGO worker, Ghor province
Rasool Mobin

Mr Karzai has sworn to bring changes in his inauguration speech. I really hope that he will change the way he works.

Nothing changed during the last eight years of him being president. If anything, things got worse: corruption is growing, security is a huge challenge and narcotics are still our income.

But to be realistic, there's only so much he could do after three decades of war.

We are the top world producer of opium and the second most corrupt country in the world. We have three major problems to solve: corruption, security and development.

We can't improve security and drive militants away without development and infrastructure

We have national police and national army and we should be able to improve security - it's very important to control closely the border with Pakistan and prevent free movement of militants. That's the most important area.

We need a stronger army presence in the poorer provinces as well. I live in one of the poorest provinces of Afghanistan. We have many militants from al-Qaeda and the Taliban. They were interfering with the election process, for example, telling people who to vote for.

Poor areas need to be developed. We don't have highways in our province, we don't have electricity and we don't have a college or university. It takes two days and two nights to reach Kabul. We can't improve security and drive militants away without development and infrastructure.

Oria Afghan, radio journalist, Paktika province

We Afghan people got a new hope in the last eight years. We became alive, we found communication with the world, we are able to rebuild our education system and have the freedom to elect our government.

He was able to do all those things and we know well that whatever he did for the Afghan nation, nobody else did before him.

The corruption is created by the government, nobody else. The UN gives them the money and after that no-one asks about where the money has gone.

Money intended for development projects disappears and meanwhile we have no schools, hospitals or roads.

The problem we have in Paktika province is that we don't have an education system. Where I work, in the Bermel district, there is only one school and it was closed by the Taliban. The government pays no attention.

My advice to Karzai is to give no chance to the people who made our country like this. We want him to do more for education, healthcare and talk to those Taliban who don't want to fight the Afghan National Army.

Ahmad Seyam, data entry clerk, Kabul
Ahmad Seyam

The people of Afghanistan have witnessed Mr Karzai's fraud even in his first election and now he's lost all credibility with us. In the future, he might well do the same and nominate himself to continue being president.

The problem is that the whole of his government is corrupt. His cabinet and commanders have ties with the more unstable provinces of the country. This is why he got a lot of votes in these provinces, so it's the reason he has become president again.

Mr Karzai is intent on deceiving Western governments and making them think he's worthy of governing the country. He spends his energies on this, instead of serving the people of his Afghanistan.

Security is our greatest problem but until there is no corruption, there will not be safety. The only way to get rid of corruption would be for President Karzai to change his entire cabinet, but he doesn't have the courage to do this because his ministers have got too much power.

Mominulhaq Safi, pharmacist, Jalalabad

Today our president was sworn in and I'm very happy. He's a very experienced person and I hope that he will make a good plan for Afghanistan and stop corruption.

There was some fraud around the elections, but this wasn't just on behalf of Mr Karzai but most other candidates, too.

I'm also hoping that Mr Karzai will give a chance for qualified people to get the right jobs.

It's very difficult to find jobs. I've applied for lots of jobs in this government to work in the Department of Health or work on making medicine but I didn't get any.

People who know powerful people, or have cousins or relations in the system, get the jobs. If you haven't got the connections you don't get the skilled work.

The problem is that President Karzai thinks that all people are honest when they're not. I hope that he will find qualified and honest people to work with. That will change the system and would enable professionals like me to get work.



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