Why are our boys dy­ing are free to beat their wives and ped­dle drugs?

Midweek Sport - - FRONT PAGE - By JUSTIN DUNN

THE BIG ques­tion get­ting ever harder to an­swer is: What ARE we do­ing in Afghanistan?

Our troops are be­ing killed by en­e­mies AND so-called friends.

The lo­cals are al­leged to be us­ing their air force planes to smug­gle drugs and weapons.

Cor­rup­tion amongst the Western-backed regime is rife. As one ex­pert stated, it is con­sid­ered ‘rot­ten to the core’.

The even­tual cost of the con­tin­ued war to UK tax­pay­ers alone is es­ti­mated at £50 BIL­LION – and grow­ing.

And there is ris­ing ac­cep­tance that once UK and US troops pull out, Afghanistan will re­vert back to what it’s AL­WAYS been any­way – a vast bas­ket case ruled by war­ring tribes.

Pres­i­dent Hamid Karzai re­cently backed a doc­u­ment which pro­motes the seg­re­ga­tion of women and al­lows hus­bands to beat their wives as he cosies up to the Tal­iban ahead of the planned with­drawal of Nato troops from the Afghanistan in 2014. It has set the cause of women’s rights in the coun­try back years – which means all our ef­forts to im­prove the plight of Afghan women have been in vain.

Our con­tin­u­ing pres­ence will change NOTH­ING. It may de­lay the in­evitable. But dur­ing that de­lay, Bri­tish sol­diers will die. And for what?

Even Pres­i­dent Hamid Karzai’s half-brother – as­sas­si­nated by his own head of se­cu­rity last year – was ac­cused of be­ing a war­lord mired in cor­rup­tion.

It was claimed Ah­mad Wali Karzai was openly in­volved in the drugs trade and had a per­sonal mili­tia at his dis­posal.

Last week US of­fi­cials be­gan in­ves­ti­gat­ing claims that the Afghan Air Force has been us­ing air­craft to trans­port drugs and il­le­gal weapons.

Com­ing af­ter the death last week of six sol­diers in the dead­li­est at­tack on Bri­tish troops in six years, the probe un­der­lines con­cerns over the de­te­ri­o­rat­ing sit­u­a­tion on the ground in Afghanistan.

The new cor­rup­tion al­le­ga­tions will raise fur­ther doubts over the abil­ity of Afghan forces to se­cure the coun­try be­fore for­eign combat troops de­part.

The ac­cu­sa­tions of il­le­gal drug and gun run­ning come from “cred­i­ble” of­fi­cials in the Afghan Air Force.

“At this point al­le­ga­tions are be­ing ex­am­ined,” said Lt Col Tim Stauf­fer, spokesman for the NATO Train­ing Mis­sionAfghanistan.

Al­le­ga­tions

“The au­thor­i­ties are try­ing to de­ter­mine whether the al­le­ga­tions war­rant a full in­ves­ti­ga­tion.”

US in­ves­ti­ga­tors are also look­ing into whether the smug­gling is con­nected to an April in­ci­dent in which an Afghan colonel killed EIGHT Amer­i­can Air Force of­fi­cers at Kabul Air­port.

An of­fi­cial re­port about the slaugh­ter quoted Amer­i­can of­fi­cials as say­ing that the killer was likely in­volved in mov­ing il­le­gal cargo.

Most of the vic­tims had re­port­edly been tak­ing part in an in­quiry into the mis­use of AAF air­craft.

An Afghan de­fence min­istry of­fi­cial would not com­ment on the is­sue.

But he did say Afghanistan had come un­der pres­sure from the West to re­move a se­nior AAF of­fi­cial over cor­rup­tion al­le­ga­tions.

“They could not pro­vide cred­i­ble ev­i­dence,” he added.

AAF Com­man­der Ma­jor

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