Analysis 09:18 18/10/2013

Karzai’s last-minute game with the Americans

Iranian Diplomacy’s interview with Pirmohammad Mollazehi, an expert on Afghan affairs

- The security agreement between Afghanistan and the US is still in a coma state. Why is there a delay in signing this part of the strategic pact?

- A part of the strategic pact which was adopted between the US and Afghanistan was the issue of the security agreement. At that time, due to the serious protests of the Afghan intellectuals and among the people and even the countries of the region, there were discussions about not signing this agreement. Therefore, Afghanistan and the US decided to postpone it to a later time when the conditions were more suitable and then the security agreement which is part of this strategic pact could be signed. Right now the issue is that Hamed Karzai has set certain conditions for this agreement and on the other hand, the Americans attempt to sign this agreement before the presidential elections and prefer to impose this agreement on Karzai whose position is weaker now.

- What is the main objective of the US with this agreement? What have the major obstacles been until now?

- The main objective of the US is for the US and member countries of NATO to take out a major part of their forces from Afghanistan in 2014 and based on Obama’s plan. But the problem is that the Americans do not intend to completely leave this country and they have rather proposed to build 9 military bases in different regions of Afghanistan and maintain a part of their forces in these safe bases. This is the main issue with regard to these two countries and their relations. Also, Afghanistan seeks to be able to try any American soldier who might commit a crime in Afghanistan in Afghanistan’s tribunals, but the Americans believe that this would be impossible because it is against the constitution of this country. The US experience in different parts of the world shows that they have not accepted such a demand in any country that they have had military agreement with and they have somehow imposed to the host country that they do not recognize the competency of the local courts with regard to crimes committed by Americans. This is the main problem and public opinion in Afghanistan believes that this measure violates the national pride of Afghanistan legally which is based on capitulation which since long has been abolished.

- To what extent would the Americans have open hands with regard to political and military interference in Afghanistan?

- The experience of other countries wherein US military forces are stationed, such as Japan, South Korea and in the past the Philippines and the former Germany shows that the extent of the interference and influence of the Americans depends on the resistance of these countries against the demands of the Americans. With regard to Afghanistan, it must be said that this country is not in a position to show its national power and the presence and influence of the Americans will be more than other countries. For example, a comparison with Japan shows that Japan is an economic power and is able to limit the influence of the Americans. But this cannot be expected of Afghanistan because this country is in a weak position and, with the establishment of US military bases, the US will have a certain power inside that country and can even violate the national integrity of Afghanistan without fearing the reaction of the government. This is a fact and completely depends on the extent of the establishment of national power in this country and whether it would be able to safeguard the interests of the people. But if the same weak position continues, the American will have the power to influence.

- Based on Karzai’s remarks, how possible is the signing of this agreement during his presidency, in your opinion?

- It seems that Karzai’s statements are not very serious. Karzai plays with public opinion and seeks another objective, otherwise he would sign the agreement. The fact that he has stated that the Loya jirga will meet in the next month and he does not intend to send this agreement to the parliament is because he is worried that they might not adopt this agreement. But since he has selected certain people in the Loya jirga who agree with the signing of this agreement, it seems that Karzai will sign this agreement before the presidential election and until March. But his intention behind such statements and pretending to show his opposition to the signing of this agreement or setting conditions for it is to impact public opinion for the election. He attempts to attract public opinion towards his team or those of whom he approves, but the agreement will be signed during this period and it can even be said that it might be signed within the next month.

- Another issue is peace with the Taliban, one of the conditions of which is the political and military absence of foreign forces in this country. If this agreement is signed, is it possible that this issue would be transformed into one of the major challenges between the government and the Taliban?

- Of course, there is this possibility because the Taliban knows that if the American and NATO forces gain bases in this country and remain there, their expectation to return to power and revive the Islamic rulership will be severely weakened. Furthermore, if the Americans reach an agreement with the Afghans, the policy of the Pakistanis might change and become hopeless about helping the Taliban to gain power. Therefore, from the Taliban’s point of view, the continuation of the Americans’ presence is very dangerous because they will create obstacles for them. But it can have other consequences as well. When the Taliban becomes hopeless about gaining power through the usage of forces, they might be encouraged to compromise with the government through which they could gain part of the power and since they have strong social bases among the Pashtun tribes, they can even participate in the democratic process and reach power. But under the present circumstances, my analysis is that until the signing of the agreement, the Taliban will exert maximum pressure both politically and militarily to prevent it but when it is signed they would be forced to review their policies.

- Have any of the candidates taken positions in this regard? How is the atmosphere of public opinion?

- The fact is that the candidates have so far attempted to bypass this issue so that it would not have negative effects on their votes.

The other issue is that the main groups which seek the signing of this agreement are, contrary to assumptions, the northern groups whose candidate is Abdullah Abdullah. They are concerned that if the Americans completely leave Afghanistan, the Taliban might gain power by force and make them return to Saidabad and it would be similar to the time prior to the entrance of the Americans when these groups cooperated with the US. Thus, this concern has caused them to be the main proponents of this agreement. This is while these groups are considered the closest group to Iran because they are Persian-speakers, Uzbeks and people who are culturally closer to Iran. But on the other hand, the Pashtuns and the Taliban are against this agreement because they believe that the government which now administers the country (despite the fact that Karzai’s ancestors are Pashtun) and the US’ interference have destroyed the historical power of the Pashtuns who have had it for the last 250-300 years. That is why they are strongly against the continuation of the presence of the Americans, but the military presence of the US is to the benefit of the Shiite Hazara, Tajik, and Uzbek minorities.

- Russia is also among the countries which is very concerned about the continuation of US presence in Afghanistan. What is the reason behind the Russians’ opposition and do their views impact the decision-making process of the Afghans?

- The Russians’ concerns are similar to those of the Iranians. Russia, China, Iran and to some extent India are concerned about US military bases in Afghanistan and its long presence in the region. The Russians, in particular, are afraid that if the Americans are present in Afghanistan, they will gradually attempt to take Central Asia out of the hands of the Russians and the same big game which has existed since the 19th century would end to the benefit of the Americans. Therefore, the Russians are very concerned. Of course, they have another concern as well and that is that if the Americans are permanently present in Afghanistan and compromise with the Taliban, then the radical groups which live in Chechnya and Uzbekistan and the Uyghurs who are in China will find the power to maneuver and intensify their opposition and continue their war against Russia. It is possible that these groups might gain the support of the West and an international competition between China and Russia would form. The Russians are concerned about this issue as well and believe that the events that happen in Afghanistan, particularly the influence of the Taliban in the Badakhshan region, will engage China, Russia and the Central Asian countries. The Americans might compromise with those groups who are fighting against them like al-Qaeda and its subgroups like the Hizb ut-Tahrir in Uzbekistan or the Chechen Liberation Front or the East Turkestan Movement and use radical groups against Russia and China. Thus, they attempt to prevent this event and discourage Afghanistan from signing this agreement but it seems that their power to maneuver is very limited.


 



Source Panorama.am
Share |
Տեքստում սխալ կամ վրիպակ նկատելու դեպքում, ուղարկեք խմբագրին հաղորդագրություն` նշելով տվյալ սխալը, այնուհետև սեղմելով Ctrl-Enter:

Newsfeed

20:02
Vitaly Balasanyan: President Sargsyan held no discussion about giving up the lands
Everyone should realize the no issue may be resolved through arms, Artsakh Hero, member of the NKR Parliament Vitaly Balasanyan told reporters...
18:53
Painting Day-2016 held in Yerevan Zoo
Upon the initiative of the Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets (FPWC) and VivaCell-MTS, the annual Painting Day took...
18:42
Members of the armed group rejected reports about their surrender
“Daredevils of Sasuon”, who have seized the patrol police regiment in Yerevan’s Erebouni district, rejected the reports about...
17:42
Karabakh Army serviceman awarded posthumously
President Bako Sahakyan signed a decree on 23 July according to which the medal "For Service in Battle" was posthumously awarded to...
17:23
Hayk Gasparyan triumphed over Azerbaijani athlete, conquered gold medal
The World 5th Kung Fu championship is underway in Moscow. The representative of the Armenian team Hayk Gasparyan (55kg) became a champion in the...
17:18
Business challenge by VivaCell-MTS
At the 24-th annual summer camp organized by the Junior Achievement of Armenia over 150 schoolchildren from Yerevan and other regions of Armenia...
16:37
Henrikh Mkhitaryan hopes Man United will get stronger
Armenian National and Manchester United midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan has commented on the defeat of his team suffered from Borussia Dortmund....
16:27
Karabakh Army serviceman killed by Azerbaijani fire
On June 23, at around 10:55 Karabakh Defense Army soldier, Arsen A. Arakelyan, received a fatal gunshot wound on the combat position of a...
16:14
Ter-Petrosyan hopes Sefilian will place the fate of Armenia and Karabakh above everything else
Levon Ter-Petrosyan, the first President of Armenia, has commented on the seizure of the patrol police regiment and the follow-up hostage...
15:36
Lawyers may appeal to ECHR
Lawyers encountered some obstacles during the ongoing events at Khorenatsi Str., when people were subjected to mass detention by the police,...
14:16
Senior police officers held hostage released
Senior police officers, Vardan Yeghiazaryan and Valery Osipyan held hostage by members of “Daredevils of Sassoun” armed group since...
14:14
Regressive constitutional amendments lead Azerbaijan to totalitarianism, expert says
Well-known Azerbaijani legal expert and lawyer Fuad Agayev believes that if approved, the Project of Referendum Act will have a negative impact...
14:11
Aleppo tunnel bomb 'kills 38 government troops'
Dozens of pro-government troops were killed when rebels blew up a tunnel underneath a building in the Syrian city of Aleppo, BBC reports....
13:58
Lavrov and Kerry may meet in Laos next week
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US State Secretary John Kerry may hold a meeting on the sidelines of ASEAN (Association of Southeast...
13:44
President Serzh Sargsyan sends letter of condolences to German President Joachim Gauck
President of Armenia, Serzh Sargsyan sent today, July 23 a letter of condolences to the President of the Federal Republic of Germany,...
12:11
Vitaly Balasanyan on conditions of releasing two senior police officers held hostage
Mediator of negotiations between members of “Daredevils of Sassoun” armed group and law enforcement units, Vitaly Balasanyan told...
11:44
Armenia stand-off: Two hostages released
Two policemen held hostage, a Lieutenant and a Sergeant have been released. They will soon be united with their families. The other two...
11:34
Pokemon Go breaks Apple App Store record
Viral video game “Pokemon Go” has been downloaded more in its first week than any other app in history, Apple said on Friday, CNBC...
11:28
Azerbaijani authorities restrict media freedom amid events in Turkey, experts say
The appeal of Azerbaijan’s Press Council to media not to propagandize actions directed against the Turkish statehood can be considered an...
11:14
Francois Hollande says Munich shooting is a ‘terrorist attack’
A deadly shooting in Munich was a “disgusting terrorist attack” aimed at stirring up fear in Germany after France was targeted last...
10:42
German-Iranian gunman kills nine in Munich
An 18-year-old German-Iranian gunman who apparently acted alone opened fire near a busy shopping mall in Munich on Friday evening, killing at...
10:41
NKR Defense Army serviceman wounded
The adversary violated the ceasefire on the Line of Contact between Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan 18 times by firing 200 shots from weapons of...
22:01
Munich shooting: Several killed in shopping centre
Several people have been shot dead in a shooting at a shopping centre in the German city of Munich, police say, according to BBC...
21:56
RA Chamber of Advocates urges the Police, other state bodies refrain from obstructing their professional activity
Rights Protection Commission at the Chamber of Advocates of the Republic of Armenia has issued a statement over the recent cases of violations...
21:10
National Security Service calls on the citizens to exercise vigilance at mass gatherings
The National Security Service of Armenia (NSS) reports that in the scope of examination of the investigatory and procedural actions conducted in...
20:25
Henrikh Mkhitaryan scores first goal for Man United against Borussia Dortmund
Henrikh Mkhitaryan found the net for the first time since joining Manchester United and it came against his former club Borussia Dortmund, Metro...
20:13
Armenian archaeological sites ‘awarded’ for being endangered and subjected to neglect
Armenian cultural heritage is closely linked to the European origins. Armenian architecture holds parallels with the Roman ones. Armenian...
19:18
James Warlick: The Minsk Group works on organizing the Sargsyan-Aliyev meeting
The OSCE Minsk Group Chairmen are working upon organizing the possible meeting between the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan, the US...
18:55
Roaming in Europe at special tariffs
Till October 31, 2016, in ten European countries – Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Spain, Italy, Greece, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands,...
18:17
Ruben Gevorgyants: Provocations growing all-around Armenia
It is an absurd to imagine an Armenian taking another Armenian as hostage for the salvation of the third one,” Chairman of the Union of...

Follow us and get updates!

Most popular articles

{"core.blocks.header.spell_message1":"Selected mistake: ","core.blocks.header.spell_message2":"Send a message about the mistake?"}