Terming the conference of immense importance because of discussion on multi-lateralism and multi-polarity, the former Afghan president said, “The prolongation of the so-called war against terrorism, not showing results, and having negative consequences. So when you work for a cause and the timeframe is long, not date based, we come to where we are today.”
Karzai said that two super powers are emerging in Asia including China and India. He added that the old superpower Russia has also emerged.
“Where I come from a country that is too poor, too small but somehow for centuries it has engaged with these big powers. I don’t know why, but we have attracted them all.”
Karzai said that in 2002 Afghanistan attracted these big powers for a cause that all embraced. “The cause of freedom for Afghanistan and the cause of peace and stability for the world away from the terrorism and extremism and radicalism that hurt us all the way to the Twin Towers in America and to loss of lives elsewhere.”
The former president said that he witnessed multi-lateral interaction between competing interests in Afghanistan.
“When we began Afghanistan had nothing. It was a delimitated, destroyed state, nothing there that you could call in the form of government or functions of a state. The world, the west lead by the United States, and rest of the world, all major powers joined hands. In the initial days of my government I didn’t have the means to travel abroad. So the US would take the Afghan president on their air force plane ‘Air Force Two’ in my case. The Russian would send their plane to take me to Moscow. These are competing powers. Russian and America, very competing powers. China would fly me from Japan to Beijing and from Beijing to Tajikistan. Saudi Arabia would send their own special plane, and Iran in the same way,” the ex-Afghan president recalled.
He said that Afghans saw a wonderful example of multi-polarity at work at multi-literal dimensions of cooperation.
“The Indian gave us thousands of scholarships. The American built our roads. The Russian supplied us helicopters. The Chinese helped us in recreating our canal system. Japan gave us billions of dollars and hosted the first conference in Tokyo. Iran also has no objection over presence of the US forces in Afghanistan. Saudi Arabia has built a part of roads that the US was building for us, and Pakistan too wanted to contribute in spite of India’s presence there,” he said.
“Now this is what we desire for the whole of the world. This is what we had in Afghanistan from 2002 till very recently. Do we have the same today in Afghanistan? Unfortunately not. Is it despairing? Yes, it is. I remembered 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 as we were negotiating with the United States our Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA),” Karzai said.
THE PASHTUN TIMES