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“Election should not have been held”

KABUL: Former President, Hamid Karzai says it was better that the parliamentary election would not have been held considering the current situation in Afghanistan and would have been better to hold it along with the next year’s presidential election or even after that.

In an exclusive interview with the Voice of America, Karzai that the peace efforts should have given result and election should have come afterwards. He added that if the parliamentary election would have been delayed even for 10 years for the sake of peace strength it would have been worth.

He claimed that the election was held against the people’s wish, thus it was not held in the entire of the country and if was held, only in the cities.

The legislative election was held on October 20 in 32 provinces after a three-year delay with some four million people voting, according to the Independent Election Commission’s initial information.

The election was not held in Ghazni province due to political disputes and was delayed probably until the presidential election. Kandahar was another province where election was delayed for at least one week because of the killing of provincial security officials prior to the election.

Karzai who was strongly opposing the US policies in his recent days in office as president, now says he would be ready to cooperate with Washington in its peace efforts in Afghanistan, but urged the process should be completely Afghan-led and Afghan-owned.

“Americans should not prevent talks among Afghans. I am not against Taliban talks with the Americans, because peace will not come without the cooperation of the world and regional countries. The Afghans’ condition is that this process should be transparent without secret deals. Afghanistan has been destroyed by secret deals between Pakistan and America,” said Karzai.

He welcomed Zalmai Khalilzad’s mission as the US department of state adviser in Afghanistan, saying that he (Khalilzad) enjoyed the US authority and Afghans’ trust.

Taliban have repeatedly called the pullout of foreign soldiers as their condition for talks with the government of Afghanistan, but Karzai said neither the government nor Taliban should offer preconditions for peace dialogues.He added their only goal should be authorization of their own soil, the thing that according to Karzai, “we don’t have this authorization now”.

He added that Afghans should get mutual understanding over the presence of the foreign troops, once again calling for a Loya Jirga to make decision in this regard.

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