Afghans Being Used Against Each Other: Karzai

Kabul: In an interview with German magazine Der Spiegel, former Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said that Afghans should not be used by other powers for their own gains. “I realized early into my tenure as president that this war is not our conflict, and we Afghans are just being used against each other – the republic against the Taliban and the Taliban against us. Both the Afghan Republic and the Taliban are victims of these external forces due to the country’s strategic place in today’s global contest for supremacy.
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Then, Pakistan started using the Taliban to further its own agenda in Afghanistan,” he said.

Karzai added that America wanted to create an “arc of crisis” around USSR. This was confirmed to Karzai by Jimmy Carter’s now-deceased former national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski. “Brzezinski said, yes, they wanted to create as many conflict zones around the USSR as possible, a so-called “arc of crisis”, and that the Soviet invasion was a good opportunity to carry this out,” Karzai added.

Karzai also highlighted US’ contradictory policy stating that the US was supporting both sides of the conflict at the same time as it was dropping bombs on Afghan villages in order to fight the Taliban, while at the same time, funding the very country accused of organizing Taliban terror campaigns, i.e., Pakistan.

On Pakistan, Karzai elaborated that, “Pakistan actually would like Afghanistan to break off relations with India. That is impossible. If we give in to this, we would give up our sovereignty and independence. If we want to send our police or our army or our boys and girls to India for training because it is good for our country. Conversely, India should not complain if we have friendly relations with Pakistan.”

Even on the Durand Line, Karzai said that a relationship with Pakistan should be similar to the model of the European Union. “The Durand Line would then be a zone rather than a fixed border, and would formally continue to exist. We want an open exchange between people on both sides, without border controls, and with freedom of movement,” he added.

Karzai also said, “Dominating Afghanistan from the outside has never worked. It didn’t work for the British, it didn’t work for the Soviets, and it didn’t work for the United States, even with all of its resources. And the Pakistanis will not succeed either.”

On the extended troika, Karzai said, “The goal is to bring peace to Afghanistan, and the initial statements are really promising, stressing that Afghanistan should have good relations with its neighbors and not harbor extremists.”

Karzai also suggested that the Taliban should participate and prove themselves in public, whether in the Loya Jirga – the traditional representation of the people – in elections or in a referendum.

In the end, Karzai also stated that the Taliban has no more reason to fight with the foreign troops withdrawing and hence, the fate of women and girls will also be secure.
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