10 years on: Karzai admits security failure, Obama touts progress

Published: October 7, 2011
(Earthquake 2005) Demonstrators fly a giant kite near the House of Commons in central London, as they mark the anniversary of military intervention in Afghanistan. PHOTO: AFP

(Earthquake 2005) Demonstrators fly a giant kite near the House of Commons in central London, as they mark the anniversary of military intervention in Afghanistan. PHOTO: AFP

(Earthquake 2005) Demonstrators fly a giant kite near the House of Commons in central London, as they mark the anniversary of military intervention in Afghanistan. PHOTO: AFP Afghan President Hamid Karzai, in an interview broadcast on the 10th anniversary of the beginning of the US military campaign, said his government and its foreign backers had failed to provide ordinary Afghans with security. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

KABUL: Afghan President Hamid Karzai was in a candid mood ten years after the US launched ground and air strikes to oust the Taliban from his country. In his first interview with the foreign media for several months, Karzai admitted that his government and the US-led Nato mission have failed in Afghanistan to deliver the most basic duty of government: security for its citizens.

US President Barack Obama chose instead to honour those killed in the decade-long war, and saluted those who have served in the US military. He added that the US was “responsibly ending today’s wars from a position of strength”, though he warned that “enormous challenges” remained in Afghanistan.

“In Afghanistan and beyond, we have shown that the United States is not and never will be at war with Islam and that we are a partner with those who seek justice, dignity and opportunity,” said Obama.

(Read: Afghan war anniversary – 10 years on, the answers are blowing in the wind)

The president also claimed the US was “closer than ever to defeating Al-Qaeda and its murderous network” after the killing of 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden.

Karzai admits failure to give Afghans security

“We’ve done terribly badly in providing security to the Afghan people and this is the greatest shortcoming of our government and of our international partners,” President Karzai said in an audio clip of an interview released by the BBC.

“What we should do is provide a better, more predictable environment of security to the Afghan citizens, and that the international community and the Afghan government definitely have failed (to do),” he added.

The Afghan president, who took office shortly after the 2001 US-led invasion brought down the Taliban regime, said the Taliban insurgency could not be defeated unless its sanctuaries in neighbouring Pakistan were eliminated.

“That problem, the sanctuaries in Pakistan, will not go away unless the government of Pakistan cooperates with Afghanistan, unless the international community cooperates in a meaningful, effective way to have it removed,” he said.

Karzai also stated that the president and prime minister of Pakistan wanted good relations with Afghanistan, though he did urge further action from his country’s neighbour. “On the overall policy of Pakistan toward Afghanistan and towards the Taliban, definitely, the Taliban will not be able to move a finger without Pakistani support,” he said.

In Afghanistan, the anniversary passed without public commemoration by either the Afghan government or Nato. On the frontline it was business as usual for the 140,000 foreign troops stationed in the country.

Ten years on, some US officials see a political settlement with the Taliban, the very people they bombed out of power, as the answer to resolving one of its longest wars in history that today outstrips the 10-year Soviet misadventure in Afghanistan.

Pakistan warns US pressure will backfire

President Obama’s warning to Islamabad over suspected ties to militants will hurt efforts to stabilise Afghanistan and fuel anti-Americanism, the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee chairman said on Friday.

“This is not helping either the US, Afghanistan or Pakistan,” Salim Saifullah told Reuters. “There will be pressure on the [Pakistan] government to get out of this war,” he said, referring to the US war on militancy.

(Read: ‘Obama warning puts pressure on Pak to get out of war’)

Obama warned Pakistan on Thursday that its ties with “unsavory characters” had put relations with the United States at risk, as he ratcheted up pressure on Islamabad to cut links with militants mounting attacks in Afghanistan.

“This will create more tension and what the Americans want is not likely to happen in the near future,” said political analyst Hasan Askari Rizvi.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 8th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (63)

  • Saboor
    Oct 7, 2011 - 6:10PM

    And you are not able move a finger and go out of your palace in your your own country. Recommend

  • Miqs
    Oct 7, 2011 - 6:26PM

    Here we go again


  • Shah
    Oct 7, 2011 - 6:26PM

    And Afghanistan can’t wipe it’s nose without America’s help!


  • Salman
    Oct 7, 2011 - 6:27PM

    These Afghans forgot our favor and we still bearing the burden of millions of refugees,ammunition dealers,non tax payers,Why?
    We are on the edge of destruction only because of these refugees..Recommend

  • Acorn Guts
    Oct 7, 2011 - 6:29PM

    If only Mr. Karzai would step up and take responsability for the chaos within Afghanistan and do something about it. Blaming Pakistan for this regional security fiasco is easy, but not a solution by any means.
    I’d rather he came to Pakistan, sat down with the establishments and cry his heart out. Then maybe we can have bilateral cooperation to put an end to this Taliban menace together.


  • Someone
    Oct 7, 2011 - 6:35PM

    What’s with the Afghans these days? They’re feeling so overconfident of themselves


  • Pasha-Nirasha
    Oct 7, 2011 - 6:38PM

    So what else is new Mr.Karzai? This is not news at all.


  • Puppet locator
    Oct 7, 2011 - 6:46PM

    And instead of these type of statement what we can accept from a puppet who always obey orders from his masters.
    Instead of fighting with country men against illegal foreign occupation, or at least condemning cruelty of illegally occupied forces, which are responsible for millions of innocent afghans killings, he is blaming a neighbor Muslim country, and which is so sad.


  • fahim
    Oct 7, 2011 - 6:50PM

    and the truth hurts on this side of border … it seems every one forgot that Pak was the only country in the world to officially recognize these trouble makers for years..


  • WhatsInAName
    Oct 7, 2011 - 6:54PM

    The ex-mayor of Kabul, the new mayor of his palace speaking and hiding his defeat and morale by his allegations and words.


  • Junaid Dar
    Oct 7, 2011 - 7:16PM

    AGREED Mr. Karzai. Any thing else?

    We can understand why you are saying this because

    As you claim

    ‘Taliban will not be able to move a finger without Pakistani support’

    We believe that

    ‘YOU will not be able to move YOUR TONGUE without US support’ Recommend

  • Pawaka
    Oct 7, 2011 - 7:17PM

    And Mr. Mayor of Kabul, how about your finger, I the guess calories fueling your finger do come from CIA. You are on a path that is comprehensively wrong. Better mend your ways before criticizing others……….Recommend

  • GetRidOfFeudalPolitics
    Oct 7, 2011 - 7:17PM

    Actually I agree with him. We Pakistanis do not care for them. It is as if they are inferior to us and their lives dont matter. This attitude of ours will come back to haunt us. It is true that we have given their refugees sanctuary. Taliban and AQ are effective only because there is support for them. Recommend

  • Antanu
    Oct 7, 2011 - 7:18PM

    Why dosnt he takes back 3 million afghan refugees…so that Pakistan has no alibi to counter the claim.


  • fahim
    Oct 7, 2011 - 7:19PM

    @Salman: Dont forget that every year we get millions of dollar from UN and agencies as fees to maintain these refugees… its a business well planned by us..


  • maxwell
    Oct 7, 2011 - 7:20PM

    @Salman: Why does not Pakistan send back those refugees, if they are such a burden on Pakistani economy? Who/ what stops Pakistani govt from doing so??

    International politics is based on serving self interests and finding out mutually acceptable self serving points, bro…no one does anything for anyone.


  • Junaid Dar
    Oct 7, 2011 - 7:37PM

    @Salman we can not blame others for our destruction.

    Hamaray Lye Faislay Hamaray Aamaal Par He Utartay Hain.

    If they are not like Mahajreen of Makkah then its not just their fault WE too didn’t behaved like the Ansaar of Madina. For Ansaars, Mahajreen were Muslims who came from Makkah but for us they were Afghans. If we would have accepted them as our Muslim Brothers things would be much different today m sure.


  • breitzer
    Oct 7, 2011 - 7:43PM

    Well this might be matter of proud that your land was invaded and you are celebrating 10 anniversary and giving so baseless statements…come on people are not foolish every one knows that:

    you dont even speak a word without the confirmation from your invaders…thank you…

    To me strange thing is an invaded president is giving statements and feeling that people will think its neutral view…LOL..


  • maxwell
    Oct 7, 2011 - 7:48PM

    Guys, wanna have a read from Dawn today ?? It might interest you in this current context :



  • Oct 7, 2011 - 7:49PM

    We all know u are playing a double game after India’s visit…you think by saying this we will launch some more sticks into our tribal areas that what India want.. Better luck next time…Recommend

  • Fahad
    Oct 7, 2011 - 7:52PM

    Afganistans attitude has made me go back in history. Afganistan was the only country to vote against pakistans creation back in 1947. Pakistan has no problem with refugees from afganistan they are welcome here. President karzais and his govts days are numbered thats y hes running around in circles, running towards india or pointing at Pak’s role in war on terror are only making things worse for himRecommend

  • Gul Khan
    Oct 7, 2011 - 7:55PM


    Many European countries have refugees from Afghanistan and Iraq etc. These countries have very transparent system of collecting taxes as well as of crime control. These refugees have been made useful citizens of those countries just because those countries treat them as asset or citizens, unfortunately afghans are here from the last decades and our government so far has not implemented any kind of mechanism for registering them and collecting taxes from them etc. So Afghan refugees does not have to do anything with our failure…


  • Antanu
    Oct 7, 2011 - 7:55PM

    and then the world would start blaming pak for inhuman attitude towards refugees…Recommend

  • Ali
    Oct 7, 2011 - 7:56PM

    Oh, Kabul’s ruler is saying something. He and the united forces can not even secure their own bases.


  • geeko
    Oct 7, 2011 - 7:58PM

    One day he says Pakistan is ‘his brother’, the other that Pakistan = Taliban ? lol this man, seriously.


  • BruteForce
    Oct 7, 2011 - 8:01PM

    Look his statements mean a lot more than what you might think.

    What he is essentially saying is if, and perhaps, when US leaves and if Taliban come back to power in a significant part of Afghanistan, then Pakistan will be blamed.

    That is not at all a good thing for Pakistan.Recommend

  • Someone
    Oct 7, 2011 - 8:02PM

    @fahim: Go do some research. The overwhelming number of Afghans are not even registered and are in fact roaming around the country freely as illegal migrants. Those refugees are in the majority, unlike the couple hundred in refugee camps, and we do not earn any sort of penny contrary to what you’re saying. Go to Karachi and work out how many Afghans (unregistered) are living, eating food, attendings jobs, schools and universities and at the same time not paying any single tax, and engaging in gun culture and drug trade.

    Stop your apologetic attitude. All Afghans need to be deported back. There should be no more “if’s and but’s.


  • Someone
    Oct 7, 2011 - 8:24PM

    @Gul Khan: I am quite sure that those “European countries” don’t allow illegal migrants to bring along drug and Ak 47 culture into their country and import mass violence, killings and murders.

    In Pakistan, Afghans are solely responsible for reviving the drugs and arms industry, and engage in all sorts of crimes. On top of that, they don’t even like the country and always badmouth it while sitting in places like Karachi. Please enlighten me on how to treat such people as “assets” and “citizens.”


  • Azim
    Oct 7, 2011 - 8:28PM

    This is conspiracy to create a divide between Afghans and Pakistani’s, and Mr.Karzai is the tool – so guys don’t be emotional and let this puppet President say what his masters have scripted for him.

  • Realist
    Oct 7, 2011 - 8:28PM

    How convenient to Say this Mr Karzai :P
    Few months back you said you were in negotiations with taliban By yourself ?
    WHAT happened right after your visit to India ?
    You don’t even have control over your own city.


  • maxwell
    Oct 7, 2011 - 8:40PM

    @Antanu, sorry Antanu, you are wrong, You need to know how UN works in such cases. You will not be blamed for your objections for refugees.


  • Oct 7, 2011 - 8:40PM

    yes, kindly do us a favour Karzai, take ur good-for-nothing refugees BACK!


  • rkfrom USA
    Oct 7, 2011 - 8:41PM

    @Puppet locator:
    He may be a puppet– what are you???. Just see where your great muslim nation is in terms of economy, technology, education world rankings??? Pretty close to afghans. Recommend

  • Xomi
    Oct 7, 2011 - 9:50PM

    Mayor of Kabul speaks up. Maybe if ANA and NATO were somewhat competent they would’nt let Taliban have freedom of movement within ALL of Afghanistan.


  • Juma Bugti
    Oct 7, 2011 - 10:04PM

    And you cant move yours without America and India. Funny Indo-Us proxy is talking about our proxy but behaving as if he is independently elected president of that country. It is about time that Pakistan should stop molly coddling this mayor of Kabul.


  • Pakistani
    Oct 7, 2011 - 10:05PM

    US has collected ISAF, NATO and a huge number of US troops in Kabul to counter Talibans. But even after 10 years of fighting they still can’t control them. Now let us assume that Pakistan is controlling Taliban. Having assumed so, does that sounds prudent to give threats to Pakistan to mend her ways and be wary of US and their Afghan puppets like Karzai?????

    This Karzai used to live in Satellite Town in Quetta, at that time he had no problems with Pakistan, the real question to ask is what has caused Karzai to be so confidant in making such statements? I think it’s their “great friend”!!!Recommend

  • Faisal
    Oct 7, 2011 - 10:06PM

    You should not forget that Afghanistan has ruled on Pakistan for hundreds of years, Pak should stop interfering in the internal matters of Afghanistan.


  • Y Khan
    Oct 7, 2011 - 10:12PM

    That is a bogus statement which basically means that it is the Pakistani state which is responsible for the thousands of terrorist acts with in the country killing more than 35000 of our citizens and some 3500 soldiers.

    Shame on you Karzai for giving such statement under the pressure of the warlords from Northern Alliance. Let us not forget that it was these very warlords who were responsible for killing 50,000 inhabitants of Kabul between 1992-1996.Recommend

  • biryani
    Oct 7, 2011 - 10:37PM

    taliban cannot move a finger without pakistan establishment support…. pak establishment cannot move finger without american support…. karzai himself cannot move a finger with american support….. and us cannot move a finger without ___ support.

    fill in the blank.


  • Maryam
    Oct 7, 2011 - 11:12PM

    You are right Mr President. Someone here asks Karzai about taking back his refugees. First of all these refugees are in their own Historical Home Land as the Accord of 1894 has been expired on 1994 and Second under the UN charter, it is obligatory on Pakistan to keep these refuges. And third, on the name of these refugees Pakistani Army and politicians has received millions of dollars which were spend on the roads in Punjab and elsewhere in Pakistan.


  • Adil
    Oct 7, 2011 - 11:14PM

    I am feeling sorry to see the attitude of Pakistanis towards Afghanistanis.
    First, either believe you are Muslim, bec as a Muslim its your liability to help fellow Muslims. Second if you think that you need not to follow Islamic regulations, even then it is Pakistani govn mistake how they handeled immegrants. In Europe, US, or neighbour country India (Nepal and Tibbet migrants in majority) after a certian period and in condition they become citizen, they work and have to pay taxes. I mean I know how much we Pakistani are paying our taxes properly, you can see power bills issue right now. If you can accept and face it, its not refuges fault altogether.
    In last, do you really believe Pakistan is not supporting Taliban or AQ? Do you erally beleive ISI didnt know where Osama was?


  • Aftb Kenneth Wilson
    Oct 7, 2011 - 11:29PM

    Don’t take him seriously. He always says what he does not means. Double talk.


  • Proud Pakistani
    Oct 7, 2011 - 11:31PM

    @rikthom India is pretty close actually it has more poor than Afghanistan (200 million?) and your education isn’t great either. let’s not even discuss about technology . Apart from cheapest car and the cheapest tablet, what have they given to the world.

    And i am not talking about NRIs


  • Noor (Pakistani)
    Oct 7, 2011 - 11:45PM

    Hahaha guys v all know … He is such a gossip oldie man !
    He has crossd his limits !!
    Come on India : U got a new fan ‘Afghanistan’ or a new weapon against ‘Pakistan’ or may be urself …..lol coz u r playing wid fire !
    To be honest pak is suffering coz ov aghanistan’s + USA + Saudi Arabia! Obviously they export terrorist matterials as well as r involved in funding talibans and etc etc ..

    They have established teaching institution here and those institutions or skilled ppl r providing training to ‘Our weak ppl’ simply contaminating young minds!!!

    Karzai knows tht he is responsible for the bad situation of Afghanistan but by blaming pak he won’t be able to remove his guilt …!


  • Sad but true
    Oct 7, 2011 - 11:52PM

    Pakistan is ‘sliding into anarchy with multiple power centers and pointing to a decline of establishment’s influence and rise of fundamentalist elements.


  • Oct 8, 2011 - 12:24AM

    @Sad but true:
    We request you to come here and save it :P


  • muhammad
    Oct 8, 2011 - 12:43AM

    hamid karzai is the biggest threat to Pakistan.


  • Maher
    Oct 8, 2011 - 12:45AM

    The Americans stoogy is trying to please his cowboy boses and indians with whom he has signed treaties under the Americans pressure and support. Whatelse can you expect from him? Just get rid of these Afghan refugees and send them back to this hell place. We have been feeding them for decades, just to be blamed by this most corrupt Afghan politician controlled and monitored by the west. The west too persists with him knowing there is no corrupt man like him and his brother in the whole of Afghanistan. Ask him to shut his mouth.


  • LOK
    Oct 8, 2011 - 12:46AM

    Rule # 1 for negotiation: You must be able to get to the negotiation table. Who amongst the stakeholders ‘need’ negotiation with Karzai?


  • Nothing but the Truth
    Oct 8, 2011 - 12:59AM

    @Proud Pakistani:
    At least NRI’s are very well regarded in the countries concerned. Do your research and you will find that Indians do very well in the countries they immigrate to. You certainly cannot say that about Pakistanis.


  • Bipul Rajput
    Oct 8, 2011 - 1:58AM

    @Proud Pakistani: “Apart from cheapest car and the cheapest tablet, what have they given to the world.”

    Lookup TATA PIXEL on YouTube. Recommend

  • Ihavebrains
    Oct 8, 2011 - 2:14AM

    Though one thing to all of you – I completely agree with all these comments above, but he isn’t the real voice of the Afghans, just like us Pakistanis would hate to be represented by Zardari.
    What we need to realise is these poor Afghans AREN’T inferior to us, if we will be mean to them they’ll be mean back to us. Like they say, what foes round, comes round.
    Sure, a lot of these Afghans are ungrateful but remember they don’t have fun once they get refugee in Pakistan, the camps are really bad, women get raped and it’s harsh in the winter. So we should watch our mouths.


  • .
    Oct 8, 2011 - 2:19AM

    Us Pakistanis are acting in a similar way to what the Brits and Europeans do to their immigrants. Shame.


  • G. Din
    Oct 8, 2011 - 2:24AM

    @Proud Pakistani:
    “And i am not talking about NRIs”
    NRI means Non Resident Indians. So they are part of India. Even citizens of other countries of Indian origin consider themselves Indians. So, why wouldn’t you talk about them and their achievements in every sphere of life?
    OK, if you won’t talk about them, talk to us of what accomplishments are you really proud, ProudPakistani? Imagine someone crawling on all fours on his belly telling a man walking upright “oh, you are no giant.”
    Silly, isn’t it?


  • rozzak
    Oct 8, 2011 - 2:34AM

    Interestingly no body talked about Taliban n army support for them and it really reminded my school times when as kids when would angry with each other and they would take gifts from each other given already.
    So two month ago there was a football tournament in Wana,South waziristan agency arranged by Taliban(if u do not Taliban under the leadership of Mullah Nazeer are in truce with army there from 2007) and South Waziristan in their complete control.
    So military’ Wana commander was the chief guest and Taliban released more than thousand of pigeons in the air at the inauguration:) & different teams from adjoining area participated in that tournament but in final the taliban favorite team was losing the job,so taliban intervened and they declared their fav. team as winner.


  • Hashmi
    Oct 8, 2011 - 3:20AM

    Is this the new dictate from your very strategic friend. That you just visited.


  • grain2315
    Oct 8, 2011 - 4:31AM

    @rkfrom USA:
    actually your right on that score, but why is that the case, let me explain its because this countries idiotic politicians supported uncle sam in its mis-adventures when they should have told uncle sam thanks but no thanks.. even now they are still koe toeing to good old uncle sam. when they should be worried about their own country and building its economy and infrastructure.. but in any event where ever america has been involved its not gone well for that nation,, indians are your best friends now, but for how long?? tell your politicians to bring your soldiers home and lets see how long this government in afghanistan that has been propped up by nato/isaf lasts??


  • Pakistani First
    Oct 8, 2011 - 6:04AM

    One thing I do not understand is why are Indians so interested in the news about our country. For heaven’s sake mind your own business. India is no superpower and you have loads of problems of your own please fix them before commenting on Pakistan.


  • AK
    Oct 8, 2011 - 7:41AM

    @Nothing but the Truth: “At least NRI’s are very well regarded in the countries concerned. Do your research and you will find that Indians do very well in the countries they immigrate to. You certainly cannot say that about Pakistanis.”

    Well, that just shows your own ignorance and aloofness to not knowing some of the achievements made by overseas Pakistanis.


  • Shahzaib
    Oct 8, 2011 - 8:25AM

    I am impressed that so many of my pak brothers have replied to this news segment. I would try to be concise though its impossible to be concise when its Pak-Afghan-US-India-Israel issued. US let wars so far it has yet to win a war start from Vietnam to Iraq and now Afghanistan. Karzai being american poodle will bark as what and when his maters will tell him to. Mr. Karzai has become a useless asset to USA and soon he will be replaced. At the same time the true focus of USA is not Afghanistan actually its Pakistan and its nuclear assets. USA propagates that its scared this weapons might fall in hands of terrorists ( freedom fighters at least in Afghanistan) since the jihadi forces have great links in Taliban and Alqaeda. USA / India and Israel can not stand a Muslim nuclear power country and that is the main issue USA has started threatening Pakistan govt. That is why we see that USA has always supported Dictators in Pakistan and always supported the corrupt political leadership so the country goes in mess and the masses gets always screwed.

    There is lot more to say on this topic and it has so many angles that I find this place very small to comment about such details.


  • Maria
    Oct 8, 2011 - 9:59AM

    @Nothing but the Truth: Perhaps you should do your own research to see that there are ample examples of successful Pakistanis too. The most generous contributors to charity in the US are expatriate Pakistanis on average per person.


  • Ahmer Ali
    Oct 8, 2011 - 11:28AM

    Assalam-o-Allaikum Warahmatullah.The whole world knows that US’ and NATO’s troops have been badly defeated by the handful Taliban/Alqaeda and thanks you have admitted it yourself.Now what US’ and NATO troops shall prove before their citizens that what did they get by wasting trillions of $$$$$ and lives of troops in hilly country Afghanistan and now how Obama will the next presidential elections?Now the time has not gone very far and US’ and NATO’s coward troops must leave Afghanistan honorably and respectfully on priority basis as soon as possible so that they could save themselves from more harmful consequences and this Karzai’s statement has proven that despite having the most modern war technology US’ and NATO’s coward troops can’t defeat handful Taliban/Alqaeda fighters.Now Mr. Karzai this is my advice for you that you enjoy your life on US’ and Indian aids instead of fightingb against the brave Taliban/Alqaeda fighters


  • Oct 8, 2011 - 4:28PM

    Reports & comments:Do keep in mind history is evovling
    and being made as conflicting forces continue to be working.
    A healthy sign.The evolution is not going to be completed
    as we keep watching. We can simulate and anticipate.But
    no one can be absolute about the indications.Always there
    are rooms for surprises.Do not be disappointed.Fishing is
    indeed funny time.
    Taravadu Taranga Trust for Media Monitoring TTTMM India
    –Kulamarva Balakrishna


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