Karzai’s recent interview about his feelings towards the Americans and foreign interference in the country has shocked a few and angered many. He believes that the intervention was counterproductive and left the country in the worst shape possible, with pockets of poverty and insurgency in the countryside. Many are claiming that this is an insult to the soldiers who lost their lives in the war-torn country. The Taliban needed to be ousted, and Karzai is forgetting that it was the US, along with other NATO countries that made this happen. There was no threat to the Taliban regime from within. Had the war on terror not been declared, the world would have been a very different place.

In its defence, Afghanistan is like this through no fault of its own. Historical invasions, added to cultural and geographical factors have led to its transformation, along with Pakistan and America’s botched attempts to try and control things for their own benefit. Peace for Afghanistan is a dream never fully realised. No system of government has worked so far; every time a state topples, more Afghanis lose their lives.

When Karzai came into power, his relationship with the US was positive, and nobody would have expected for things to get this sour between the two governments. His words do nothing but dampen hopes of getting his signature on the Bilateral Security Agreement. If he is not planning on signing it, what is supposed to be the next move for Afghanistan? His personal conviction to prefer poverty to ‘servitude’ is admirable, but not realistic. A country needs money, and a devastated economy is going to be of no aid to Afghanistan. The army comprises untrained novices who lack supplies as well as battle expertise. Karzai needs to drop the political posturing and realise that if the US leaves, Afghanistan is left without a source of income for its army of 350,000. It is no fun having a foreign army in one’s own country, but in this case, there is no other choice.

With Afghanistan left to its own devices, the mess created is likely to spill over the border and affect Pakistan as well. The Durand Line is anything but secure, and those looking to unbalance the already unstable state of affairs in Pakistan have no trouble in crossing over. However, that in no way should be taken as a go ahead for Pakistan to re-indulge itself in proxy warfare. If anything, it is a clear warning against it. For now, Pakistan, along with the rest of the world, can only hope that Karzai somehow magically sees sense and signs the deal that offers a slim hope of keeping the Taliban at bay.