DARING KARZAI

By William Markiewicz

Karzai accuses the allies, who saved him, of imperialism. He had no choice because the allies, mostly with their bombings, decimated the local population and Karzai could easily be accused as a traitor, collaborator. He is doing salto mortale with his speech while simultaneously swimming in the swamp of corruption. He is a risk taker knowing that the allies are too deeply engaged in helping him to retrocede now. The northern part of Afghanistan is peaceful; Karzai is apparently successfully cooperating with the warlords who rule it. The Pashtun, in the southern part of the country, the only people indigenous to Afghanistan, are dangerous adversaries of Karzai, paradoxically ethnic Pashtun himself, and his allies. Probably the best solution for Afghanistan would be to accord independence to the Pashtun, which would result in an independent Pashtunistan. This would automatically mean peace because the Pashtuns and Taliban, left to themselves, would have no power to attack Afghanistan. It's easier to fight a regime than a neighbour. The eastern border of Pakistan, populated almost exclusively by Pashtun, would sooner or later unite with Pashtunistan but this is another problem and not for tomorrow. The bold gesture of giving independence is not easy now; the Soviet Union was the only power that gave freedom to vast separatist parts of its Empire. Today it is not fashionable to let separatists go their way, Kosovo being an exception for purely political considerations. Ossetia and Abkhazia also won independence thanks to a foreign power. The difference is that while Ossetia and Abkhazia are purely ethnic territories that aspired to freedom, Kosovo ended with tragedy for the indigenous Serbian population.

How Afghanistan’s problems will be resolved can hardly be foreseen. The allies will probably be obliged to stop their bloody air strike missions affecting civilians which will give certain advantages to the Taliban. Karzai certainly needs peace with the Taliban. Total victory is practically impossible, especially when he is obliged to put the brakes on his own allies. However the situation between Karzai and his allies develops, the Taliban doesn’t seem nearer victory than before. The situation remains uncertain and I think it will last like this for a long time.

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