Former president Hamid Karzai held a press conference on Monday and urged the Afghan government and Afghan forces to defend the freedom of speech and the people’s rights in the country.
“The threats have increased against those who support the US peace talks with the Taliban,” Karzai said, adding that “Wahid Muzhda (political analyst) is the latest victim. We did not agree on everything, but we accepted his views and respected them.”
“We said that we want peace, but not at the price of sacrificing achievements that we gained over the past 18 years,” Karzai said. “Freedom of speech is one of the achievements that we are talking about.”
He also said that the Afghans security forces should not be used for politics and private goals.
“Our security forces should be completely neutral and serve their nation,” Karzai said, presumably referring to allegations of Afghan forces interfering in the election recount process in the provinces.
Presidential spokesman Sediq Sediqqi responded by saying that Afghan forces are “professional” and courageously defend “citizens, freedom and the country.”
“The Afghan forces don’t have any link with politics and what the politicians say is completely false,” Sediqqi said.
Karzai believes that the world has accepted Afghanistan’s constitution and regards Afghanistan as an independent country.
“The Constitution was formed according to our Islamic law which provides for freedom of speech and human freedom,” he said.
“The people of Afghanistan must be assured that their freedom will not be taken away and that it will be respected,” Karzai said. “I am calling on Europe and the US and foreign organizations to defend the people’s rights.”
On election, Karzai said that the poor voting turnout was a sign of the lack of security and troubles in Afghanistan. “It was a silent referendum. I hope we can unite and find a way out of the situation we are facing.”
“Our election results should have been announced a day after voting day. Many other countries also held elections at the same time and their election results were announced very quickly,” he said.
"Currently we are in a crisis because we do not have election results," he added.
Karzai said that he supports the China meeting for Afghan peace, saying “we have worked on the list. It is not necessary that I participate in the meeting--there are other important people who will participate.”