Saturday, August 28, 2010

My comment is live on the World News Network on August 28, 2010 on the Subject: "Karzai tells US: exit timetable has boosted insurgency" -Al Jazeera

With best compliments,

Subject: "Karzai tells US: exit timetable has boosted insurgency" -Al Jazeera

Bishwa Nath Singh from Dalmianagar (Bihar),India

The President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai is not a man to mince his words. The world has seen that right from civilian casualties to corruption charges, President Karzai has responded to all very intelligently. Now, it is the US forces withdrawal scheduled for the middle of next year that is proving to be a major concern. While the civilian side of the US President Barack Obama’s administration has maintained that the withdrawal will be as planned, the US military top command and Kabul seem more perturbed. So much so, that Afghan President Hamid Karzai has called the withdrawal timetable detrimental. He feels that it has given the insurgents a morale boost. Besides, the issue of Afghan civilian casualties at the hands of foreign forces and insurgent safe havens in Pakistan are factors that need immediate attention. As per statement of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, the war cannot be won as long as insurgents take refuge across the border in Pakistan. As frustration over the war mounts in Kabul and Washington, another drama has unfolded. A recent New York Times report notes how one of Karzai’s aides, Mohammed Zia Salehi who was adviser on National Security, has been on the payroll of the CIA for the past many years. Previously having been arrested on corruption charges by Afghan anti–corruption agencies ,only to be released within hours thus Salehi is being termed as the father of controversy. It is said that he is unlikely to face persecution for he is privy to a lot of secrets that will cause great consternation in the presidential camp if divulged. What is highly ironic is how a parallel policy is being enacted in the war-torn state. On one hand is the pressure on Kabul to clean up its act and end corruption. And on the other hand is the US intelligence encouraging corruption through people like Salehi who doled out bribes and financial inducements on its behalf. While it is no secret that intelligence organizations usually employ such means it does expose the two tracked and incoherent US policy at play in Afghanistan. Salehi’s arrest had exposed his involvement in protecting New Ansari currency exchange from an investigation over sending billions of dollars abroad. Apparently, these financial transactions were at the behest of politicians, drug traffickers and insurgents. Furthermore, efforts at counter corruption are nullified when any investigation and subsequent action is swept away, with a stroke of the pen. Despite having vowed to root out corruption and setting up the anti-corruption organizations, President Hamid Karzai seems unwilling or unable to see it through. The recent Salehi expose, however, is likely to act as buffer in case Kabul is pulled up for failing to curb corruption. Having employed a man like Salehi, who played an integral part in perpetuating corrupt practices, Washington is hardly in a position to raise a storm. Up to thirty Taliban-linked fighters, including suicide bombers have attacked two Nato bases in Afghanistan's east very recently. At least twenty one fighters were killed and four Nato soldiers wounded in the pre-dawn attacks on August 28,2010 officials told Al Jazeera.The fighters launched the first attack on the Forward Operating Base Salerno in Khost province near the southeastern border with Pakistan before moving on to occupy the nearby Camp Chapman.The heavily fortified Chapman base is the site of an attack last December in which seven CIA officers were killed by a suicide bomber, the second-most deadly attack in CIA history. There seems to be reasoning in fear of Afghan President Hamid Karzai that Afghanistan will sustain huge loss after withdrawal of US force from Afghanistan by middle of next year.

World News Network
August 29,201 at 1: 54 AM (IST)

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