Karzai talks with the Taleban as US policy comes unstuck

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THE situation in Afghanistan has gone from bad to worse as far as the imperialist powers and their plans for the region are concerned.

Last Tuesday, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs hinted that any future anti-American remarks by President Karzai, who has recently been openly condemning his US and UK sponsors and allies, would jeopardise his planned invitation to Washington on May 12.

‘We certainly would evaluate whatever continued or further remarks President Karzai makes, as to whether that’s constructive, to have such a meeting,’ he told reporters.

Asked several times if President Karzai was an ally of the US, Gibbs declined to answer the question directly, a disturbing situation for the imperialists, since the US and the UK placed Karzai into power after removing the Taleban government.

Meanwhile, the head of Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission (IEC) and his deputy have resigned, officials say.

A spokesman for President Karzai said commission president Azizullah Ludin’s tenure had ended and that he did not want to continue in the post.

The commission’s chief electoral officer, Daoud Ali Najafi, has also submitted his resignation.

The resignations follow international pressure over last year’s presidential elections which were marred by massive fraud, which made it impossible to proceed with the final round of the election.

A quarter of all votes cast in last August’s election were declared invalid following an investigation by the UN-backed watchdog, the Election Complaints Commission (ECC).

The IEC was criticised for failing to deal with widespread irregularities.

New parliamentary elections are being planned for September and widespread rigging is already being prepared.

Last week, the Afghan president angered the West by alleging that the ‘widespread’ fraud, last August, had been carried out by international agencies, namely elements within the UN and EU, and not by anybody connected to the ‘winner’ of the election, which was himself.

A few weeks ago, he entertained in Kabul, for peace talks, a prominent ally of the Taleban movement, Golbuddin Hekmatyar, and indicated that he had been having talks with other senior Taleban leaders, as well as keeping a channel open to the Taleban leader, Mullah Omar.

He commented afterwards that the actions of the Nato forces in behaving like an occupation army had made the Taleban’s struggle seem like a national liberation insurgency that was attractive to the Afghan people.

Karzai further accused US and UK officials in Kabul of seeking to weaken him and his government.

The White House described his comments as ‘troubling’.

Last Friday Karzai called US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and assured her that Afghans were grateful for the international community’s help.

State department spokesman P J Crowley said ‘President Karzai reaffirmed his commitment to the partnership between our two countries and expressed his appreciation for the contributions and sacrifices of the international community.’

He added that ‘They pledged to continue working together in a spirit of partnership.’

There are now very real concerns in Washington that despite the 90,000 US troops in Afghanistan, Karzai is actually in the process of making a deal with the Taleban that will force US, UK and other NATO troops out of the country.

It is crystal clear that the imperialist war in Afghanistan has been lost.

The immediate withdrawal of all UK troops from Afghanistan and the Middle East has to be made a big issue during the current general election.

The trade unions and the TUC must make it very clear that whatever government emerges out of the general election, they will be mounting a national campaign of industrial and political action to secure the withdrawal of all UK troops, to end the slaughter of the Afghan people and allow them to select the government of their choice.