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Karzai Threatens To Join Taliban

April 6, 2010

KABUL: 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, according to several members of parliament.

They said on Monday that Karzai made the unusual statement at a closed-door meeting on Saturday with selected lawmakers — just days after kicking up a diplomatic controversy with remarks alleging foreigners were behind fraud in last year’s disputed elections.

Lawmakers dismissed the latest comment as hyperbole, but it will add to the impression the president — who relies on tens of thousands of US and NATO forces to fight the insurgency and prop up his government — is growing increasingly erratic and unable to exert authority without attacking his foreign backers.

“He said that ‘if I come under foreign pressure, I might join the Taliban’,” said Farooq Marenai, who represents the eastern province of Nangarhar.

“He said rebelling would change to resistance,” Marenai said — apparently suggesting that the militant movement would then be redefined as one of resistance against a foreign occupation rather than a rebellion against an elected government.

Marenai said Karzai appeared nervous and repeatedly demanded to know why parliament last week had rejected legal reforms that would have strengthened the president’s authority over the country’s electoral institutions.

Two other lawmakers said Karzai twice raised the threat to join the insurgency.

The lawmakers, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of political repercussions, said Karzai also dismissed concerns over possible damage his comments last week had caused to relations with the United States. He told them he had already explained himself in a telephone conversation on Saturday with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said on Monday that reports Karzai threatened to abandon the political process and join the Taliban insurgency if he continued to receive pressure from Western backers to reform his government were troubling.

“On behalf of the American people, we’re frustrated with the remarks,” Gibbs told reporters.

The lawmakers said they felt Karzai was pandering to hard-line or pro-Taliban members of parliament and had no real intention of joining the insurgency.

Nor does the Afghan leader appear concerned that the US might abandon him, having said numerous times that the US would not leave Afghanistan because it perceives a presence here to be in its national interest.

Karzai’s spokesman Waheed Omar’s phone was turned off and another number for him rang unanswered Monday. Deputy spokesman Hamed Elmi’s phone rang unanswered.

The comments come against the background of continuing insurgent violence as the U.S. moves to boost troop levels in a push against Taliban strongholds in the south.

NATO forces said they killed 10 militants in a joint US-Afghan raid on a compound in Nangarhar province’s Khogyani district near the Pakistani border early on Monday, while gunmen seriously wounded an Afghan provincial councilwoman in a drive-by shooting in the country’s increasingly violent north.

NATO also confirmed that international troops were responsible for the deaths of five civilians, including three women, on Feb. 12 in Gardez, south of Kabul.

A NATO statement said a joint international-Afghan patrol fired on two men mistakenly believed to be insurgents. It said the three women were “accidentally killed as a result of the joint force firing at the men.”

International force officials will discuss the results of the investigation with family of those killed, apologize and provide compensation, he said.

The two men killed in the Gardez raid had been long-serving government loyalists and opponents of al-Qaida and the Taliban, one serving as provincial district attorney and the other as police chief in Paktia’s Zurmat district.

Their brother, who also lost his wife and a sister, said he learned of the investigation result from the Internet, but had yet to receive formal notice.

Mohammad Sabar said the family’s only demand was that the informant who passed on the faulty information about militant activity be tried and publicly executed.

“Please, please, please, our desire, our demand is that this spy be executed in front of the people to ensure that such bad things don’t happen again,” Sabar said.

In the latest of a series of targeted assassination attempts blamed on militants, Baghlan provincial council member Nida Khyani was struck by gunfire in the leg and abdomen in Pul-e Khumri, capital of the northern province, said Salim Rasouli, head of the provincial health department. Khyani’s bodyguard was also slightly injured.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the shooting, although suspicion immediately fell on Taliban fighters who often target people working with the Afghan government and their Western backers.

One month ago, a member of the Afghan national parliament escaped injury when her convoy was attacked by Taliban insurgents in eastern Afghanistan. Female government officials regularly report receiving threats to their safety. Some women leaders, including a prominent policewoman, have been assassinated.

The Taliban rigidly oppose education for girls and women’s participation in public affairs, citing their narrow interpretation of conservative Islam and tribal traditions. Militants, who are strongest in the south and east, carry out beatings and other punishments for perceived women’s crimes from immodesty to leaving home unaccompanied by a male relative.

Also on Monday, the organizer of a national reconciliation conference — known as a jirga — scheduled for early May said it would not include insurgent groups such as the Taliban. There has also been indications it would include discussion of the withdrawal of 120,000 foreign troops in the country.

Times of India

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7 comments

  1. man i did not know karzari had enough balls!!!


    • When a dog get cornered up it tend to bark. Balls has nothing to do with it.


  2. saab drama hay


  3. Our leaders should learn a lesson from Karzai who at least dared to say such a thing to US. Our so called leaders tirelessly call the US war as our war, what a shame. The best thing for US is to leave Afghanistan alone and let the brave people decide their fate.


  4. I repeat my self: Yet another example.

    ALLAH has warned us again and again but we don’t seem to understand.

    “O believers, do not take the Jews and the Christians as your friends and protectors, they are friends of each other. And whoever makes them a friend then he is from amongst them. Verily God does not guide the unjust people. And you will see that those (Muslims) in whose hearts is a disease run towards them saying ‘We fear that a calamity may befall us.’ So God will soon bring victory or a decision from Him, causing them regret on account of the thoughts they harbored in their hearts.” (Quran 5:51-52)


  5. KARZAI HAS UNDERSTOOD THAT TALIBAN IS MORE POWERFUL


  6. KARZAI MUST HASTEN TO JOIN TALIBAN BECAUSE HE IS ON THE TOP OF HIT LIST OF USA AND THAT IS NATURAL TO DO FOR USA OR BETTER RESIGN AND RUN AWAY.



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