Ashraf Ghani has sworn in as the new president of Afghanistan in a lavish ceremony at the presidential palace in Kabul. The former finance minister was inaugurated in a grand event on September 28 marking the country's first democratic transfer of power since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.
Ghani succeeds Hamid Karzai after a three-month standoff over disputed election results that fuelled tensions with local leaders in Afghanistan. But, after interference from the United States and the United Nation, both agreed to form a national unity government and Ghani was declared president. The new Afghan government signed a security agreement with US that will allow nearly 10,000 American troops to remain in Afghanistan beyond the final withdrawal of US and international combat forces this year. The number of troops is expected to be cut in half by the end of 2015, and the US would leave only about 1,000 in a security office after the end of 2016. The accord was signed a day after Ashraf Ghani sworn in as Afghan’s new president in a power sharing government. —Nishant Kumar Azad with inputs from agencies