Sir: President Hamid Karzai is trying to develop contacts with the Afghan Taliban in order to pave the way for a political role for himself in the post-US/NATO withdrawal Afghanistan. Probably the entire world was expecting the same from Karzai, given his ability to change his colours according to circumstances. Hamid Karzai is showing to the Taliban that he was helpless when they needed him the most. He is trying to make them realise that he had not been comfortable with the US. His decision of not signing the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) can be one of the ploys to show to the Taliban how much he hates the US policies. All this hatred has come after enjoying two full presidential stints. Great show indeed. The former US ambassador to the European Union and the initiator of the Bonn conference on Afghanistan, James F Dobbins, in his book, After the Taliban: Nation-Building in Afghanistan, writes that General Tommy Franks, who headed the US Central Command based at Tampa, Florida in 2001, received a message from his staff that Hamid Karzai’s small band of insurgents in southern Afghanistan had been attacked by the Taliban and now Karzai was asking for help. Surrounded and about to be overrun, Karzai had been rescued by the US squad. This shows that Karzai had full support and backing of the US forces even before his name was proposed to lead the new government in Kabul.
After enjoying two presidential tenures, various international tours, embezzling billions of dollars, Karzai has finally realized that he is nobody without the support of the Taliban. For a protected political life in Afghanistan he needs the Taliban’s support.
Karzai has sent his partners to negotiate with the Taliban in Dubai and Saudi Arabia. What Karzai wants is that in case the Taliban come to power, whether through a democratic process or otherwise, he should be allowed to live peacefully and safely. In short, he is trying to save his kith and kin. But the question still remains, will the Taliban really forget what he has done to them? And will forgiving him be that easy?
Karzai has probably forgotten what he has done to his own people. He created his own fiefdom only to deprive his people of the fruits of foreign aid and resources that were literally showered on Afghans. He along with his corrupt brothers had been a bane to the Afghans generally and the Taliban particularly. Only if horses were wishes could Karzai have a safe life in Afghanistan post-US withdrawal.
Javed Ali Kalhoro
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