Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, September 27th, 2020

President Karzai and NATO on Crossroads

President Hamid Karzai, yet again, and with even stronger tone condemned the decision of NATO to carry on the airstrikes that have become very controversial issue between the President Office and NATO officials. After the last warning President on this occasion has even warned for a reaction if such operations are carried out. This very situation has brought the President on the cross road with NATO, what will happen next if the NATO forces carry on such operations again, is really a point of concern.

Apart from other aspects of the issue, the most crucial gap that exists between the President and NATO on the issue of such operations is the communication gap. Urgent considerations are required in this regard. This gap has to be bridged if the confidence building process has to be made successful by both the parties. The President has even mentioned that such operations by the NATO troops can make them the Occupying Forces rather than Allies. Definitely, there are reservations on both sides but they have to be communicated properly.

If both the parties keep on diverging each other through their statements, instead of having proper settlement of the issue, the enemies are going to cash the issue in their favor. The NATO officials are of the view that Afghan forces are always kept involved in such operations; that definitely is a step to be appreciated but at the same time they must keep this point in their considerations that they have to gain the confidence of government in this regard. The political interpretation and validity of such operations have to be made by the government and that must not be forgotten by the forces – both foreign and Afghan.

Another fact that seems to be very evident from this particular conflict is the lack of awareness on the part of government regarding the technicalities of the operations that are carried out by NATO forces. They have mentioned that most of the time they happen to be in such a situation that demands either a retreat, loss or attack that can cause civilian casualties, and they have to opt for attack, with due sympathy for the loss of civilian lives. If so, the same should be conveyed to the President directly, with the explanation of all the complexities involved and on the other hand President must also deal the situation appropriately with more emphasis on the security of security forces, and no doubt the civilians but not for the political utilization of the issue.