ASADABAD, Afghanistan (AFP) – An emotional Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Saturday told international troops to "stop their operations in our land", his strongest remarks yet over mistaken killings of civilians.
Karzai’s comments came after a week in which a relative of his was killed in a raid by foreign forces and he rejected an apology by the US commander of troops General David Petraeus for the deaths of nine children in a NATO strike.
"I would like to ask NATO and the US with honour and humbleness and not with arrogance to stop their operations in our land," Karzai said in Pashto as he visited the dead children’s relatives in Kunar province, eastern Afghanistan.
"We are very tolerant people but now our tolerance has run out."
In an apparent reference to neighboring Pakistan, where insurgents have hideouts in lawless border regions, Western-backed Karzai said international forces "should go and fight this war where we have showed them (it is)".
"This war is not in our land," Karzai added.
This has been coming a long time. Karazi who’s relatives seem to have some interesting connections, a cabinet that is fraught with corruption and large sums of Iranian money points to the ally I’ve seen throughout.
At many levels in Afghanistan the US military is making great strides. The ANA has improved, the ANP is working on it and the ALP program shows promise. This is all contingent on a solid Kabul however. But you can’t build if it’s broken at the top.
And Kabul is where the problem is. USAID’s report on Afghan corruptions says this.
Corruption, defined as “the abuse of public position for private gain” is a significant and growing problem across Afghanistan that undermines security, development, and stateand democracy-building objectives. Pervasive, entrenched, and systemic corruption is now at an unprecedented scope in the country’s history. Thirty years of conflict that has weakened underdeveloped state institutions and the country’s social fabric, Afghanistan’s dominant role in worldwide opium and heroin production, and the tremendous size and diversity of international security, humanitarian and development assistance all increase Afghanistan’s vulnerability to corruption.
Others have claimed Afghanistan is the second most corrupt nation below Somalia. This is the situation after 10 years of our war there? Over ten years we have been in place. What have our leaders been doing? Perhaps we should leave the nation building to others and just stick to retribution and defense.
He is right about one thing. There is a fight to be fought in Pakistan.