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Karzai faults US for not purging militancy

AT-KABUL: Former President Hamid Karzai has delivered a scathing critique over a failure of the U.S. government to tame an ever-galloping scourge of militancy to which Afghanistan has been hemorrhaging. He faulted the U.S. for not burying the hatchet and yet allowing an ensuing infestation of ISIS militants into Afghanistan.

In a live debate at India’s Institute of Peace and War Studies with the topic of ‘evolving dynamics of Indo-Afghan relationship’, ex-president spelled out the standpoint of Afghanistan and its people towards India – as an unflinching and reliable ally – and all major stakeholders in Afghanistan’s puzzle.

Karzai enunciated that the U.S. military intervention in late 2001 culminated into an ultimate liberation of Afghanistan from the totalitarianism of the Taliban. “But, it also marked the inception of an imposed militancy. The belligerency persisted and caused collateral damage. The primary reason was that terrorist sanctuaries were created beyond our borders and terrorists feted. And the west bloc especially the U.S. ignored these safe havens and yet failed to deliver what the world expected of them to fulfill their end of the bargain to purge militancy and tame its scourge,” he asserted.

“Instead of targeting terrorist strongholds outside Afghanistan, the U.S. applied military means within Afghanistan and barraged our villages under the pretext of fighting terrorism. It was a duality and a wrong direction they having been taking – which ultimately led to an emboldening of terrorist movements and an ensuing spreading of militancy inside Afghanistan. It is absolutely ironic and contradictory to the west’s pretentious counterterrorism campaign. This default – either ‘intentional’ and premeditated or ‘inadvertent’ resulting from the unconscious consequence of their actions –, coupled with a perception of threat that Afghanistan’s national interestswere not being safeguarded, led me to refrain from signing the bilateral security agreement,” he said, “The U.S. has not routedterrorism; in fact, it is fueling terrorism – advertently or inadvertently.”

Karzai strongly believed that Pakistan was behind the conflict in Afghanistan ever since the Soviets withdrew. “We fought the Red Army for our freedom and we won. But even after the Soviets left, we had no freedom – definitely because of the creeping invasion of Pakistan-induced extremism and terrorism. Pakistan preyed upon the post-war chaos in Afghanistan to mutilate the fabrics of this country. It used extremism as a tool, which led to 9/11 and the subsequent resurgence of violence worldwide, to weaken Afghanistan and India.

He insisted that this void has brought India and Afghanistan to ‘resist and defeat’. He said it was very important that Indo-Afghan friendship keeps its momentum to bypass all faulty politics of the west. Karzai was all applause for India’s largesse; “Indo-Afghan entente cordiale has culminated in exponential economic and noneconomic support. India has provided the Afghan people with means of empowerment as well as reconstruction assistance. A total of India’s $2.5 billion aid has been spent wisely and properly to educate thousands, build schools, clinics and dams, and major infrastructure amenities like power generation,” he reckoned, “India is the only reliable donor country that has provided steady and unflinching economic and infrastructure assistance to Afghanistan,” he said.

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