Biggest Turn Around in Afghan Politics

Published on Chowk, by mohammad gill April 6, 2010.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai threatened over the weekend to quit the political process and join the Taliban if he continued to come under outside pressure to reform, several members of parliament said Monday. (Lawmakers: Afghan leader threatens to join Taliban, by Amir Shah and Christopher Bodeen, Yahoo! News, April 5, 2010).

Recent news coming out of Afghanistan indicates that President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan is under great pressure from the USA, to go after the Taliban more vigorously. Evidently, the pressure had built to such an extent that Karzai felt he was pushed to the wall and could take it no longer.

There is a great deal of difference in the way America views the Afghan Taliban and the way Karzai and other Afghans view them. To the USA, a Taliban is simply a bogey and a terrorist, someone who is extremely bad and dangerous and deserves to be eliminated. Hamid Karzai consider them as country men who oppose him and his policies for reasons of their own. One of his own brothers is a member of Taliban. The U.S. wants Karzai to fight an American war against Taliban while Karzai believes, rightly or wrongly, that some kind of compromise between his government and the Taliban may be possible. The fact that the things are not going smooth was evident by some statements made recently by Karzai and the recent visit to Afghanistan of President Obama.

Many Afghans consider Karzai as a U.S. puppet who is implementing American agenda without any regard to Afghanistan’s interest. Hamid Karzai has been trying to dispel this kind of personification. His recent visit to China and Iran underlined this fact. He signed three major trade and economic deals with China trying to assert economic freedom from the U.S. Although he didn’t sign any kind of pact with Iran but his visit did underscore his independence because Iran is viewed as enemy of the U.S.

Be that as it may, the American pressure on Karzai is relentless. This is not good for the U.S. in the long run. If indeed Karzai abandoned his office to become a Taliban, that would be the biggest defeat for the American foreign policy. Afghanistan would then become a Taliban state, a nightmare and the breeding ground of terrorism … (full text).

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