How did IS emerge in Afghanistan under US watch? asks Hamid Karzai

October 8, 2017 at 10:25 pm

Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai on Sunday questioned how ─ under the watch of US intelligence and military ─ the militant Islamic State (IS) group emerged in Afghanistan over the past few years.

Karzai, during an interview on RT, also questioned why extremism and violence had increased in Afghanistan when the US had come to the country to bring peace and stability.

“The US came to Afghanistan to bring peace and stability and defeat extremism — [yet] we have more of it today. Why? That is what we should be discussing,” Karzai said. “Clearly bombings, killings, prisons and the harassment of people [in Afghanistan] have not worked.”

Noting that IS emerged in Afghanistan over the past few years, Karzai asked: “Who did this under the watch of US intelligence and military in Afghanistan and how come?”

“We have the right to ask these questions and the US government must answer.”

When asked if he had suspicions that US bases in Afghanistan “were being used”, the former president said that he had “more than suspicions”, claiming that Afghan people had approached him and told the him that they are being supplied with helicopters.

“[They have told me about] how unmarked, non-military coloured helicopters supply these people in not just one, but many parts of the country,” Karzai said, adding that such reports were coming in on a daily basis from the people in Afghanistan and from Afghan government sources.

The interviewer, pointing out that Britain had been supporting de facto IS and Al Qaeda-linked rebels in Syria, asked the president about the contrasting role Britain played in Afghanistan by liberating Helmand province.

“At that time, they did help. We are grateful for what Britain has done in Afghanistan; it was a much, much softer version of what the US did,” Karzai said, admitting, however, that Helmand is no longer in control of the Afghan government today; rather, it is under the Taliban.

“How come there is more extremism in spite of millions of dollars and loss of lives?” Karzai asked. When the interviewer followed up with a question about “proof,” Karzai added: “The proof is what is happening in Afghanistan.”

He said that the questions that are being raised are founded on “fundamental evidence of wrongdoing.”

The former president concluded that bombs and military action will not bring peace to Afghanistan. Instead, he said, Afghans must develop a “mechanism of [their] own to reach to everyone, including the Taliban ─ the sons of our soil ─ to seek a settlement.”

He added that this process should be supported by everyone, adding that the US must act as a cooperative partner in the region with “big countries, such as China, Russia, Pakistan, Iran and India to bring peace.”

When asked about a recent Taliban attack at an airport in Kabul that took place on the same day that US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis arrived in the Afghan capital for talks, Karzai said that the attack was an “indication of how things are wrong.”

“17 years on, the Americans can’t even keep the airports safe on the day the defence secretary and the Nato chief are visiting Kabul,” he said.

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