Presenting the caricature of President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan.
Here’s his biography – short and concise
Karzai’s Biography – Childhood and Youth
Hamid Karzai who is the current President of Afghanistan, was born on December 24, 1957. Recently, his unwillingness to let the NATO forces leave (despite their having trained the Afghani security forces well,) has been making news. Why, you might ask. Well, perhaps the answer lies in the fact that the Taliban worry him no end. But let us first talk about Karzai’s childhood and youth. He was born in Kandahar (yes, the Gandhara of the past, but the capital of Afghanistan today.) He comes from an influential political family (as I interpret from his father’s profession, who was the Deputy Speaker of the Parliament when Karzai was a toddler.)
Young Hamid completed his graduation in Kandahar, but believe it or not, he completed his post-graduation from India. However, before you misguide yourself into believing that he found his sweetheart in India, I should tell you that he must’ve been a studious sort of guy. He met Zeenat who he later married, in Pakistan, not in India.
Karzai’s Rise to Power
When US backed the Mujaheddin during the soviet war in Afghanistan, Karzai worked as a contact for CIA. Presumably this was how his political journey began – with the mujaheddin who took power after Najibullah (who was publicly hanged by the Taliban).
Initially, Karzai felt good about the Taliban and thought of them as the saviors of the nation, but he refused to represent them. This possibly angered the Taliban, who killed Karzai’s father. This changed Karzai’s view of the Taliban. He began an anti-Taliban movement and joined the Northern front. The Northern Front along with US Special forces overthrew the Taliban. It was in 2002 that for the first time Karzai came into power. Unfortunately, his sphere of power was limited to Kabul (the media promptly dubbed him the “Mayor of Kabul”).
Ever since Karzai came into power he’s been trying to hold talks with the Taliban (the same Taliban who killed his father and angered him, earlier in the story.)
Controversies that surround Hamid Karzai
Karzai was first elected the President in 2004. Next, when elections were held in 2009, they were mired in controversies and it was insinuated that his opponent’s withdrawal from the election may not have been entirely voluntary.
While Karzai has been trying for a cordial relationship with countries such as Iran, Pakistan, India, and Japan; he’s also been criticized for being too soft on the Taliban.
Karzai’s been into the poppy production controversy (he refused to kill the poppy in the fields.) He’s also been accused of shielding his brother who was “allegedly” involved in drug trade.
His brothers and sisters are settled in the land of opportunity (read: The US.) They are all into the hospitality business. Karzai has only one son (and one wife, who is a Doctor.) He’s got no property to call his own and his bank-balance is really abysmally low. But that’s one of the things that makes him a darling of the masses – because despite all allegations of electoral fraud, he won them fair and square.
The Story behind the Caricature
In 2014, the NATO forces will have completely pulled out of Afghanistan (US being the last to leave). Afghanistan and US are currently in the process of drafting an agreement, which will ensure that in some ways US will continue to help Afghanistan tide over the issues that it would face after the withdrawal of the troops. However, Karzai is perhaps not comfortable with mere promises. He has recently said,
“They are providing us with money, there is no doubt about that. But they say they will not mention the amount in the agreement. We say: give us less, but mention it in the agreement. Give us less, but write it down.”
Dear readers, what’s your opinion?
- After having spent 12 years of fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan, should the NATO forces leave when the Afghan security forces don’t appear to be in control? (Read about one of the security breaches here.)
- Also, is Karzai being a tad over-optimistic when he says that he needs a promise of a couple of Billion Dollars a year, and he’d be able to control the situation?