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Karzai Should Act Responsibly on BSA

Joint Press Availability with President of Afghanistan.

President Karzai’s recent outburst at his US and NATO allies does not bode well for the ongoing negotiations over the Bilateral Security Agreement between Afghanistan and the United States. It indicates that the president may act irresponsibly in the ongoing efforts for signing a security with the United States and lead the negotiations into a stalemate which could virtually result to complete withdrawal of the US from Afghanistan. Such a scenario for the future of Afghanistan would be a real disaster for the country.

Afghanistan is going through a critical juncture of its history and any careless handling of the country would doom the country’s future into failure and another cycle of instability. Afghanistan has progressed considerably during the last twelve years, though at a high price. Perhaps everyone agrees that a huge price is paid for what have been achieved during the past twelve years. And Afghanistan has a long way to stability and prosperity. It still needs to pay whatever price needed for a sustainable security and stability. Still, dozens of innocent civilians are sacrificed in the violence by both the Taliban and NATO forces along Afghan security forces. The high rate of civilian casualties is heart-breaking. The Afghan government must do its best to curb the wave of war and violence in any way possible such as peace negotiations with the insurgent groups and limiting air strikes carried out by NATO forces.

However, the Afghan government needs to be reminded of the stake that there are potential risks of Afghanistan dipping into furthered chaos and instability in absence of NATO troops after 2014. The bitter fact is that here the potential exists. And the government needs to be reminded that it mustn’t scuttle the security deal between Afghanistan and the US in pretext of defending interests of Afghanistan, because the consequences of such a failure would be disastrous for the country with possibility of further rounds of instability and deaths of countless ordinary and innocent Afghans. The government of Afghanistan is being reminded by a broad political spectrum in the country as well the media and analysts that there is the future of the country at stake and the government must not lead the country into a wrong course of history by failing in the negotiations.

The latest comments by presidential hopefuls suggest that Afghanistan’s interest is in signing the agreement with the US, and that the political spectrum of the country is in favor of a deal that would allow presence of US forces in the country beyond 2014. Many presidential candidates have urged the government recently to act and responsibly and sign reach an agreement over the deal as quick as possible. Afghanistan remains, and will continue to remain, heavily relied to US aid to sustain its military and the government, while the Afghan forces will remain relied to US assistance for years. Therefore, any delay that would endanger future Afghan-US partnership is not in interests of Afghanistan and the government should be quick in signing the Bilateral Security Agreement.

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