Let Afghans run Afghanistan, urges Karzai

Sunday, February 7, 2010

MUNICH - International forces should let Afghans run Afghanistan and “must be a support to the government, not a rival to it”, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Sunday.

Karzai is supported by NATO and its allies, but their relationship has been soured by allegations of Afghan corruption and an Afghan perception that foreign forces are not giving primacy to the country’s own authorities.

Improving the situation “means enabling Afghanistan to deliver services to the people and removing any parallel activity to that of the Afghan government”, Karzai told the annual Munich Security Conference.

NATO-led reconstruction teams, non-governmental organisations, international aid groups and bodies such as the UN “must be a support to the Afghan government, not a rival to it”, Karzai said, repeating the phrase four times to hammer the point home.

In particular, international forces should stop attacking militants in places where civilians live, he said.

“Ending operations in Afghan villages is what the Afghan people are seeking,” Karzai said.

And they should stop unilaterally arresting Afghan civilians and officials, instead letting the Afghan law-enforcement agencies do it.

“That means ending raids on Afghan homes at night, ending arrests in Afghan homes and villages, Afghanistan regaining judicial independence completely and very very soon … Suspects must be taken by Afghan forces through the Afghan judicial system and by the laws of Afghanistan,” he said.

Filed under: Diplomacy

will not be displayed