Afghanistan Will Fight Warlords, Corruption, Drugs …

Afghanistan Will Fight Warlords, Corruption, Drugs
‘We Will Get It Done’

NEW YORK, Dec. 12 2004 – LAWFUEL – First with law news — New Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, who was inaugurated last week in the company of top U.S. officials, tells Newsweek in an interview that he’s going to deliver to his country an “honest, accountable, austere government.” And he’s not worried about the threat of the Taliban in the countryside.

“There’s no Taliban in the countryside. Forget
about that. The countryside is even more ready for good government than the
urban centers. For that we need a capable administration that will be able to
deliver services, including justice, to the people.”

He adds that they would not have been able to hold elections if the
Taliban had been around. “The elections succeeded thanks to the force of the
people. The Taliban can only succeed if they are accepted by or have a
presence among the people. The Afghan people proved that this country is
inherently democratic,” Karzai says in the December 20 issue of Newsweek (on
newsstands Monday, December 13).

Karzai says the Taliban have been talking to them for a long time, and
“those who are not part of Al Qaeda, who are not linked to terrorism, who have
not committed crimes against our people, and those who have a desire to come
back and be a part of this country again, are welcome. Thousands of them are
just ordinary people, like the rest of combatant forces in Afghanistan. But
there are about 50 to 100 people, not more than that, who have visible records
of criminal activity, who are visibly part of Al Qaeda, who are visibly part
of terrorism. We cannot accept them. We will fight them.”

Karzai also expresses confidence in being capable of reining in and
disarming the warlords whom many Afghans think are a greater threat to
security than the Taliban. “We will get it done,” he says. “There has to be
significant progress. Afghanistan has no option but to fight private military
forces. Afghanistan has no option but to fight corruption. Afghanistan has no
option but to fight drugs. Without a major fight on these three fronts
Afghanistan will not see permanent stability. Then the moment the
international community leaves us we will fall back into disaster. We are not
going to allow that.”

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