Ahmed Karzai: Pakistan is Our Main Afghanistan Problem
Despite the alleged ties and double dealing of President's Karzai's younger brother, Ahmed, who is in charge of Kandahar, a district known for its Taliban influence and haven, Ahmed recently was interviewed. CBS' 60 minutes did a story of him and his corruption wheeling and dealing with millions of US dollars, however, none were actually proven. He was charged with aiding and abetting the Taliban, drug trafficking and voter fraud that got him elected.
Ahmed's advice to the US military leaders is not totally alien to American ears. Ahmed is probably correct in his assessment because of his close ties to both sides. Thus, both need him in different ways.
His rebuttal question pinpoints the problem, " What would the US do if Mexico brought enemies of your country to a border town, trained them, and sent them across to kill Americans?"
Of course, the answer is America would work with the Mexican government and if they did not work, send troops over to take of it. As Ahmed alluded to, the same applies to here. One only needs to travel 45 min from Kandahar to enter Taliban country within Pakistan where there are numerous religious schools training and teaching the Taliban way of life and to hate democracy and Americans. They are the future warriors at Chaman, Pakistan. The corruption within Kandahar province angers those Afghan citizens who want a free society, so it undercuts all the good that is going on there with US help. This corruption pushes normal citizens into the Taliban out of anger for the corrupt system.
Ahmed points to the the real culprit-Pakistan and its ISI, intelligenece agency that fully support the Taliban because they do not want a strong Aghansitan, but one that must rely on Pakistan. Many times, killed Taliban fighters have Pakistani ID cards in their possession! Ahmed openly stated that it is a waste of time and money for the US to clear Kandahar if the US is only going to leave and not destroy the havens along the Pakistan border. As Ahmed stated, the Taliban are simply going to return. He should know. The Taliban are being paid, I repeat, being paid by Pakistan according the Ahmed, probably with US dollars given to them as aid! If the funding ends, so will Taliban.
Why does the Pakistan army refuse to target the tribal areas along the Afghanistan border? Obviously, the ISI and its Army have different objectives and are themselves adversaries in many ways. To Americans, it seems incredibly insane-the whole damn thing. Ahmed advised the US to take out the Taliban leader, Mullah Omar, doing so would seriously damage the Taliban. He firmly believes the Taliban are controlled by Pakstan's ISI, which has the greatest influence over them. When you talk to the Taliban, you talk to Pakistan. If Pakistan's ISI stops supporting them, the Taliban will collapse. In the end, Ahmed predicts that if the US pulls out before dealing with the border havens in Pakistan, a civil war return and gradually the Taliban will win Afghanistan back because the ISI is stronger than Afghanistan's internal forces.
On the other side, Pakistan is playing all sides. The result of the US raid that killed Bin Laden has allowed China to become Pakistan's best friend. Not only will China send them, free of charge, 50 JF-17 jet aircraft to update their arsenal (Pakistan had wanted US jets), but worse, both countries have signed a deal where China will rebuild and operate its Gwadar port, Pakistan's only deep water port. They are also discussing a possible oil pipeline from the port to China and China building two new railroad lines from the port to the Chinese border. China is funding many other ports at Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Myanmar as part of their naval strategy.