Karzai to Step Down In 2014

Southasia - - Briefing -

In a re­cent meet­ing with U.S. Pres­i­dent Barack Obama, Afghan Pres­i­dent Hamid Karzai pub­licly an­nounced his de­ci­sion to step down as Pres­i­dent in 2014. The two head-of-states met at the White House to dis­cuss the 2014 U.S with­drawal strat­egy. While is­sues of long-term sta­bil­ity and se­cu­rity were dis­cussed, spec­u­la­tions were rife over Pres­i­dent Karzai’s am­bi­tions to run for a third term in of­fice thus bla­tantly chal­leng­ing the coun­try’s con­sti­tu­tion. Karzai has led the U.S.-backed Afghan government for over a decade and has served as a top U.S. ally in the fight against ter­ror­ism. There is no doubt that the U.S. con­sid­ers Pres­i­dent Karzai a key player and strong sup­porter in the South Asian re­gion.

Pres­i­dent Karzai’s pledge to bow out comes at a time when US-Afghan re­la­tions are fac­ing tur­bu­lence. More­over, Pres­i­dent Karzai is aware of the se­ri­ous in­ter­nal threats fac­ing an al­ready frag­ile Afghanistan. His de­par­ture will un­doubt­edly be a set­back for the U.S. and is bound to cre­ate a power vac­uum in Afghanistan.

While the war torn coun­try has wit­nessed sta­bil­ity un­der Pres­i­dent Karzai’s lead­er­ship, it still re­mains crip­pled by cor­rup­tion. Apart from dis­cussing in­ter­nal threats, mil­i­tary strate­gies and larger se­cu­rity frame­works, the two lead­ers also dis­cussed U.S pri­or­i­ties and pub­lic opin­ion. Pres­i­dent Obama un­veiled the U.S ‘zero op­tion’ strat­egy that re­quires leav­ing no more troops be­hind, af­ter the draw­down date. This marks a clear shift from pre­vi­ous Amer­i­can guar­an­tees of leav­ing U.S troops in a non-com­bat­ant role to mon­i­tor and fa­cil­i­tate a tran­si­tion of power and usher in democ­racy. The news has only led to fur­ther dis­con­tent and mis­trust not only at the of­fi­cial level but also amongst the peo­ple of Afghanistan.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.