The future of Afghanistan depends upon the signing of Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA). The international community, especially the US, is eying on the agreement to be signed soon because if the agreement is not signed by the Afghan President [either current president or the next one], it would not only result into a new bunch of issues like further deterioration of law and order situation in the country, but can also affect the overall economic development of the country as well.
On the other hand, it is being said that Afghan President Hamid Karzai is trying to develop contacts with the Taliban to re-establish his old contacts in order to pave way for his political role in Afghanistan in future. Probably the entire world was expecting the same from Mr. Karzai that he would definitely be contacting with the people; who somehow could not be killed by the various operations against them by international troops in Afghanistan.
Hamid Karzai, a 56-year-old man, is trying to make lame excuses with the Taliban for not helping them at the time when they needed him. He desires their sympathies to realize them that he is not comfortable with Americans. His decision of not signing the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) can be one of the indicators of showing Taliban how much he hates “U.S policies” after enjoying his presidential seat since December 2001.
US former ambassador to EU and initiator of Bonn conference of Afghanistan, James F. Dobbins in his book “After the Taliban Nation-Building in Afghanistan” tells that. Gen. Tommy Franks, who headed the US Central Command, based at Tampa, Florida (in 2001), gets a message from his staff that; Hamid Karzai, who is leading a small band of insurgents into southern Afghanistan had come under attack from Taliban forces and radioed for help. Surrounded and about to be overrun, Karzai had been rescued by a Helicopter-born American rescue squad. This shows that Karzai had full support and backing of US forces, before his name was proposed to lead the new Govt. in Kabul.
After enjoying his tenure as the Afghanistan President for more than a decade, various international tours and billions of dollars even being responsible for the killings of thousands of Afghans, and after being an active supporter of U.S policies in Afghanistan, Mr. Karzai has finally realized that he is nobody without the support of Taliban if he wants to enjoy a fully fledged political career in Kabul any more.
On other hand, Mr. Karzai has sent his partners from the same think tank to negotiate with Taliban in various parts of Afghanistan, Dubai and in Saudi Arabia. He desires that if Taliban come to rule Kabul either in the form of an elected democratic government or by the using power then he should be in a position to live a safe and secure life in Afghanistan. In short, he is trying to save his kith and kin. But the question still remains there. Will Taliban really forget him?
Mr. Karzai is forgetting what he has been doing to his own people. Various videos on YouTube and other sites have shown his security officials firing on innocent people who paid a heavy price of being the inhabitants of Afghanistan and the masses of President Karzai. Mr Karzai has double standard as he is now consecutively criticizing NATO and the US for not delivering anything to his people for whom this gentleman had been fighting for long.
It is obvious that the ignorance to BSA may lead Afghanistan to face the worst economic crises, as no country including U.S would be able to provide any financial assistance to Afghanistan after withdrawal of NATO forces from the country. The survey reports show that the Afghans are not optimistic about the future of their country. Most of them believe that no financial assistance will be provided to Afghanistan after the NATO forces leave their country. The results of this pessimistic approach are hilarious in a way that the farmers in various villages have started sowing the seeds of poppy crop twice the quantity they were used to sow in past. Obviously, they are feeling that post-withdrawal they could be able to earn their bread and butter only by cultivating the poppy crop and then smuggling it to the other parts of the world.
To make money by smuggling or through other malpractices is the thing Afghans would like to opt for as their source of income after the NATO forces leave Afghanistan. Various international media organizations working in Afghanistan have been publishing the real stories of corruption taking place by the Afghan government as well. This corruption has urged the masses to opt for government jobs as they take this situation as a “chance” to earn money more and more. On the other hand, the Afghan families who once were very much keen in getting jobs in Afghan Army for their sons have now trying to be diverted towards getting government jobs in different ministries, no matter at every available post. They think that they can earn more money [by corruption] than taking their lives at risks.
Corruption and embezzlement has skyrocketed in Afghanistan. This can be judged from an incident when recently some government officials illegally withdrew almost one million dollars from different bank accounts of two international aid development organizations and UN agency, which are already working there for the betterment of Afghans.
Survey indicates that majority of Afghan people have started buying modern weapons to save them from the clutches of the Afghan police force. They say Afghan police are the most corrupt department of the country as mostly police officers after kidnapping their relatives/kids pertain as they have been kidnapped by some militant groups. They demand huge amount of money as ransom and in this way adding a huge amount in their exchequers consecutively. The corruption in police department can also be judged by the fact that dozens of weapons like AK47 and Russian pistols are being sold openly in city markets but police is not interested in taking any step in this regard. A simple gun in Afghanistan without license does cost no more than 100$.
In brief, it is not wrong to say that the future of Afghanistan has become a smoke screen and this screen is showing just a dark picture. There is an uncertainty between the non-governmental organizations what will happen if the BSA is not signed and international troops, who were providing them safety, would no more be available for them. Frankly speaking, Afghanistan has been left alone with its bunch of issues; the problems which have been created by its own people followed by their loving President Karzai.
By Javed Ali Kalhoro, WEEKLY PULSE MAGAZINE, March 03, 2014