The policy of Hamed Karzai government
When one hits an all time low, there is no where left to go but up. For a devastated country like Afghanistan that wasn’t exactly the case. After America’s involvement in Afghanistan post-9/11 that ousted the Taliban during their search for Osama Bin Laden, Afghanistan was presented with a rare opportunity to start over, to start fresh. However, that opportunity came and went and any changes that came along the way were only “skin-deep” so to speak. Hamid Karzai was positioned as the new president by the US and a fraudulent election cemented his position in office. The policies installed and backed-up by Karzai which were supposedly created to place Afghanistan back on the road to recovery were not, in actuality, made in the interest of all the people of Afghanistan. In fact, they fail to serve the Tajiks, Hazaras, Uzbeks—just about all the non-Pashtuns. It had gotten off to a bad start from the beginning during the Bonn Agreement. The two largest delegations at Bonn were the Northern Alliance and the “Rome Group” a.k.a the Pashtun royalist. The Northern Alliance, made of Tajiks, Hazaras, and Uzbeks, had elected Abdul Satar Sirat, an ethnic Uzbek, to form the interim government but the Royalists had insisted upon and pushed for Karzai to be appointed because of Zalmay Khalilzad’s interferences. The Tajiks, Hazaras and Uzbeks accepted Karzai for the sake of peace and unity. This first major mistake of the US was when they appointed Zalmay Khalilzad as the US ambassador in Afghanistan. Khalilzad is partial to his own Pashtuns and he had a great part in helping to create the Taliban.
The US had spent $70 million dollars to get Karzai elected in the presidential election. So Karzai has been the puppet and mouthpiece for the US and from the beginning he has followed the wrong policies. He surrounded himself with Pashtun fascists from the Afghan Mellat as soon as he was in office along with a few dozen American bodyguards. The elite Pashtun group were educated and trained in the West and then placed in Afghanistan for their own interest. Though Karzai and his gang have placed themselves at the service of the US at the same time they are eagerly promoting the Pashtun beliefs and interests. The US doesn’t realize that Karzai represents the interest of just his own ethnic and class group and he isolates the other ethnic groups. As Charles Santos of the LA Times wrote in his article “Myth of ‘One Afghanistan,’” “U.S. policymakers have accepted the optimistic view of many Pushtun leaders that Afghans see each other as brothers undivided by differences. Any talk of addressing issues of ethnicity or diversity is characterized as a plot by outsiders to divide the country.” Through such lies, the US imposed democracy through Karzai and his group when the rest of the country was not ready for it. Karzai and his puppet government believe that they were—and still are—capable of bringing about order, peace, equality, social justice, etc. to the country. What they forget is that the show they put on for the rest of World is nothing but a lie that the rest of Afghanistan is very much aware of and that their show has only created—and continue to create—more problems. In the past four years that Karzai and his goons have been in office, they have undoubtedly done everything wrong from the beginning with lies and misguiding policies. The Parliament was only recently established and before that, the executive branch was making all the decisions. The so-called executive branch was all Karzai and his Cabinet and within that Cabinet, the powers were manipulated by Karzai and his accomplices. There was no legislative branch to counter it; there was no system of “checks and balances.” The Afghan Mellat is made of fascist Pashtuns that want to impose their beliefs unto the country at the expense of other’s beliefs and ways. They are a minority themselves but they try to maneuver positions so that they have direct path to power. Now Karzai and his Afghan Mellat group believe that their fantastical theory of sustaining a peaceful Afghanistan while at the same time elevating the Pashtuns’ position will work just as well when it’s applied without them having to take into account the interests and opinions of other ethnicities that reside in Afghanistan. These attempts to continue to ignore the real social issues were exemplified through the Loya Jirga. Santos also writes, “…[M]any non-Pushtuns believe that radical Pushtuns in the Afghan government are using their positions to reestablish Pushtun domination of the country. A federalist state would challenge the dogma of domination with a more tolerant and moderate political order.” When the people asked for a federal system, The Loya Jirga denied the requests and they were instead forced to accept what others thought were best for them. The regions of Afghanistan each have their own issues; the Tajiks of Badakhshan have different issues than those in Herat or Balkh, etc—the Hazaras of Bamyan also have different issues than those Hazaras in Wardak or Kabul—and the same applies for the Pashtuns from different parts of the Southern provinces. For such mixed and complex regions, the federal system would have been the better. Santos’ statement also illustrates that Pashtun domination is a recurring theme; it is not a new and recent threat but one that has always existed.
During the 2nd Loya Jirga when they made the Constitution, it became clear what a joke the country was really becoming. The issue of language has always been an ongoing touchy subject for the country. Dari has always been the official language of Afghanistan; the majority of the country speaks it and it is the language used in the government, in schools, etc. Pashto, the language spoken by only a small portion of ethnic Pashtuns, was stated as an official language as late as 1936 and then was quickly enforced upon the country and the people. Though there were already Farsi equivalents, they still invented Pashto words for official buildings and institutions and also made the national anthem in Pashto. For example, for someone who owned a private business—like a pharmacy—to be granted a license, the owner had to make the board or sign of his store in Pashto. In a city like Kabul where even Pashtuns spoke Farsi as their first or native language, this was absurd. However, acts like these automatically made Pashto the national language. This undermines the entire definition of what a national language is. To force a minority language upon people through devious acts such as those is not unifying. By allowing this to happen, Karzai has become unfavorable to the citizens of Afghanistan. But his bad choices didn’t stop there. Through the Loya Jirga, Karzai and his accomplices insisted and pushed for Zahir Shah’s name to be stated in the Constitution as father of the nation. Such a ridiculous notion has raised many eyebrows in confusion and disgust. Zahir Shah is a thief and it is quite a shame that no one questioned his actions. Zahir Shah’s monarchy was overthrown in 1973 by a coup thrown by his cousin, Daud Khan who was known as the “crazy prince.” Daud Khan was the prime minister, president—overall in charge of everything—and he stripped Zahir Shah of his Afghan citizenship and sent him into exile in 1973. After years of absence, Zahir Shah came back for only one reason—for his personal gain and greed. When his father first came to Afghanistan with the wild tribes of Pashtuns of the other side of Durand Line, he had nothing to his name. And now, Zahir Shah waves deeds to certain properties like the Presidential palace, government buildings, lands in many provinces that are in use. Though this was covered by the mass media in Afghanistan, no one found out where he got those deeds. Without any questions, Karzai compensated Zahir Shah with millions of dollars for those properties. Zahir Shah also sold hundreds of acres of government land to the public by using the deeds from 30 years ago. And on top of that, Karzai made Zahir Shah the father of the nation without even reinstating his citizenship. So many questions are left unanswered and so many events are left ignored and untouched.
Karzai’s choices have always been questionable. He made Mullah Shinwari, an Islamist fanatic, as head of the Judiciary System when Shinwari doesn’t even have any formal education. He is an old man, extremely fanatic with affiliations with war criminals like Sayyaf. After the troubles the country went through with the Taliban, the last person they needed was someone like Shinwari. On the other side of the extreme, Karzai also gave posts to the fascist Afghan Mellat. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, an accomplice of Karzai’s, served as the finance minister. He was extremely biased and did not properly allocate money to areas for educational needs, infrastructure, etc. In the Constitution, it was stated that the members of the Cabinet were not allowed to have dual citizenships. Ashraf Ghani refused to give up his US citizenship and so he was replaced by the leader of the fascist Afghan Mellat, Anwar Ul-Haq Ahady—someone even more biased than he is. Ashraf Ghani then became the Chancellor of Kabul University. It is quite obvious that he has zero tolerance towards Farsi. On his first day as Chancellor, Ashraf Ghani entered Kabul University, saw the Pashto and Farsi signs, and he personally broke the Farsi sign and began kicking it around, stating that he didn’t want the sign anywhere around. He also closed down the only library in Kabul University because most of the books in the library were published in Iran. He has such hatred for the language that he makes his hatred and biases well known. Kabul University is the only University in the area. Now, what kind of treatment should the students of the University expect from someone like him when he is so blatantly against their language and culture? He is biased and intolerant and such a person should not be given any source of power because it is obvious what a danger he is to the foundation of the country. His brother, Hashmat Ghani Ahmadzai, is another joke. He is chief of the Grand Councils of Kuchis (nomads) and ironically he is one of the wealthiest “Kuchis” and owns land in the USA (in Virginia and New York), in London, and Dubai. What kind of representation is he of the nomads? He is the entire opposite of what a true nomad is so how can he properly represent them? But such a prominent figure is needed to stand for the nomads of Afghanistan and Karzai is well aware of this. The nomads' most influential figure, Naim Kuchi, was apprehended by U.S. forces in early 2003 for being a Taliban commander, and then freed in late 2004. Karzai feted him on his return which was seen by Afghans as a gesture intended to court nomad support at the ballot. 12 seats of the Parliament were given to the nomads. The exact number of nomads in Afghanistan is at the most 200,000. In non-Pashtuns provinces of Bamyan, Kunduz, and Parwan there are millions of Hazaras and Tajiks and they are only given 12 representatives to the Parliament as well. The only reason for this to be done is because they want a bigger representation of Pashtuns and when looking at the rich typhoon who is representing the nomads, it becomes clear that it is just another way to get an elite Pashtunist into the system. This is obviously not balanced and does not allow for proper representation of the people and the provinces.
Karzai’s appointing of the cabinet had caused much unrest as well. 20 out of 25 people may have been approved by the Parliament but again, it comes down to the question of proper representation. It was a strategic plan on Karzai’s part to limit powers to whoever he wishes, especially non-Pashtuns. Karzai talks about national unity at the same time he tries to minimize other ethnic influences in the government. He discredits other ethnicity leadership, isolating and pushing them away. He surrounded himself with yes-mens from his own ethnicity as well appointed a select non-Pashtuns in the cabinet but realistically they do not have any power. There were various mismatches of levels of education and assigned posts. Someone who obtained a higher education in Military was appointed as the Minister of Energy. Someone else who was educated in matters of Security became Minster of Education. This ridiculous show of the Cabinets became another deceitful plot to shift the power towards Karzai and his group. He was also determined to disarm the country when he actually was after disarming the non-Pashtuns—the same group that fought against and defeated the Taliban, the ground force that drove the terrorists out. Karzai disarmed those in the North and the West and then recently he has re-armed the Talibans in the South—the very same people who destroyed the Buddhas, oppressed and killed the people of Afghanistan, and caused countless amount of destruction. This is the kind of double standard that has prevailed in Karzai’s government and policies.
Once a supporter of the Taliban, it is no surprise that Karzai has also willingly brought the Taliban into the government. He compromised with the same terrorists that were destroying the country just a few months back and this move has done nothing to improve conditions in the country. Meanwhile insurgents are getting stronger in the South and all Karzai has done is give power to some of the former Taliban leaders. The American soldiers can not do much for the South; they are only confined to their bases and the insurgents have control over the rest of the urban and rural areas. They are burning schools, killing teachers and government and foreign aid workers. It’s quite obvious that the terrorists won’t be satisfied until they are in full power once more. Karzai is well-aware of this conflict and he still appointed Taliban members into important areas in the government. He is making it one big circus show, trying to show that he can control the situation when he doesn’t have much control where it really matters.
Regarding the drug cultivations, Karzai’s own brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, and the governor of Helmand, Nangarhar, and Kandahar—and now he’s a member of Parliament as well—is involved in drug trading and cultivations. He is getting rich off by the drug trade and nothing has been done to stop them. According to an article in Newsweek “A Harvest of Treachery,” [Wali Karzai] was alleged to be a major figure by nearly every source who described the Afghan network to NEWSWEEK for this story, including past and present government officials and several minor drug traffickers. "He is the unofficial regional governor of southern Afghanistan and leads the whole trafficking structure," says the veteran Interior Ministry official.” Karzai hasn’t taken much action to put an end to the drug trafficking. Pashtuns like Wali Karzai are relentless when it comes to making money off of people’s misery. In Rachel Morarjee’s article for the Financial Times, it says, “Argu is the biggest heroin-processing district in north-eastern Afghanistan, home to at least 14 laboratories run by Pashtun traders from the violent tribal borderlands near Pakistan, where the Taliban are waging an insurgency against US troops which is fuelled by drug money.” These Pashtun traders are living a luxuries lifestyle while the rest of Afghanistan continues to rot. When Karzai himself doesn’t do anything to stop the drug cultivation, there isn’t much anyone else can do. The provincial chief of police, General Shan Jahan Noori states that it is hard for them to chase after the drug traffickers when they are so limited in supplies and ill-equipped with old cars. The drug traffickers cruise in BMWs and Lexus that have no trouble in navigating through mud-filled roads. Morarjee also writes, “Much of the heroin also still goes south to Helmand, from where the Pashtun smuggling mafia hail. Almost 3,000 British troops will be stationed there by May. The dark-haired Pashtun smugglers with their flat-cap Pakol hats and blankets worn like capes stand out in the Argu bazaar where the locals are fairer Uzbeks and Tajiks. Four years since the fall of the Taliban and about a decade since the Pashtun smugglers first appeared in Afghanistan's remote Badakhshan, they still control the trade.” It seems like Karzai and his people grab for power in any way that they can and do not care at whose expense.
However, with everything said and done, one almost shouldn’t be surprised over the newfound ways of oppression and political wars. Karzai couldn’t care less of how the non-Pashtuns suffer because of the way that the Pashtuns in the South are suffering. They are suffering more than non-Pashtuns are because the US is targeting the poorer regions of the South. The Pashtuns are being killed and harassed and the elite Pashtuns like Karzai and his goons are not looking out for them. Instead, he supports more troops being sent down there with no positive outcome in sight. If Karzai does not bother to look after his own people, what makes us think that he would even care about non-Pashtuns? He will always have his own interests’ and those of the fascist Pashtuns put ahead of the national interest. He is merely toying with the country and because he is another leader appointed by another foreign group, the country has no choice but to accept and follow him as they did other puppets in the past. The US and NATO aren’t failing in Afghanistan because the oppositions of Taliban are so strong—they are failing because the policies have been wrong from the beginning and they have created nothing but problems. The US, looking for a quick and easy fix, were desperately trying to impose the ways of thieves, robbers, and fascists in the name of Democracy and they found perfect, willing corroborators—certain criminals that were ready, willing, and able to continue the tradition of selling out Afghanistan for power.