Former President Hamid Karzai said on Tuesday that the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces are “better prepared” to protect Afghanistan on their own as international troops are leaving the country, but he reiterated that Afghans should deal with the ongoing foreign interference.
“The Afghan forces are better prepared to shoulder the responsibilities of protecting the country on their own,” Karzai said in an interview with the BBC, but added that “the environment, the overall regional environment and the continuation of interference and undermining of the Afghan state is continuing” and that “that is something that we the Afghan people need to handle and handle sooner.”
He said that at some point, the US and its allies “did very good” for a number of years in reconstruction of Afghanistan, “but subsequently, they began to rather than going and drying the sanctuaries outside of Afghanistan, in Pakistan, which is what they themselves reported about, they began bombing and hurting Afghan people and creating prisons in our own country.”
“That led to where we are today,” he said.
Karzai said that Afghanistan is not a failed state, adding that “as far as the Afghan people are concerned, they created a constitution, they went to the elections, they embraced democracy whole heartedly, they went to school, the educated themselves, we have millions of Afghan boys and girls educated today.”
“We did all that we could to lead Afghanistan on the right track and to represent it well on the international scene,” he said.
He said that the failure of the state that one would describe, especially in the western press, is exactly where the authority and the responsibility was more with the United States and its NATO allies.
“That’s where things have failed and that’s where we the Afghan people are also being a price, a very heavy price,” Karzai added.
In response to his reaction on US and NATO forces commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Scott Miller, Karzai said that the US general is “very wrong” about saying that there is possibility of a civil war in the country as the international troops are leaving.
“Exactly for this reason I am telling you that that has failed. Instead of saying that they have helped Afghanistan stabilize, they leave, and the general leaving, is warning of a civil war. So that means they have failed but we Afghans have not,” he added.
Karzai’s remarks come as Afghan forces have lost a big number of districts to the Taliban in the last two months amidst the withdrawal of US and NATO forces from the country.
But the National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib on Tuesday assured that all districts will be retaken by Afghan forces.