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Karzai lauds media’s role in protecting identity of Afghans

AT-KABUL: Appreciating local media, Ex-President Hamid Karzai said that media was working hard to protect national unity and identity of Afghans.

Addressing the inauguration ceremony of Afghanistan Radio and Television Union, Hamid Karzai voiced his gratitude that media made another stride towards improvement of the freedom of expression. He said that free speech in Afghanistan was one of his biggest dreams.

Karzai said that when he was at loggerhead with foreign troops in Afghanistan over civilian casualties, he faced a wave of criticism from media outlets. “However, I remained silent and showed no reaction, for I was committed to respect people’s right to freedom of expression,” he added.

Recalling his recent trip to Germany, Hamid Karzai said that Dutch media asked him if he was against presence of foreign forces in Afghanistan. “I responded that I am not against their presence, if the foreign troops respect our national sovereignty and national unity. Otherwise, their presence in Afghanistan is not in the country’s interest” he added.

He said that media is protecting identity and rights of the people of Afghanistan. “I am confident that our media is mature enough to differentiate between national interests and slander,” Karzai went on as saying.

Karzai hoped that local media will protect Afghanistan’s cultural values and respect national interests of the country. “We are a great nation, however, we are yet to present the real picture of Afghanistan to the world,” he said, urging media to have their own production.

I bid to honor Hamid Karzai’s support for media, the union granted a souvenir to the former president of Afghanistan. Afghanistan Radio and Television Union urged Karzai to become honorary president of the union.

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