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Tue. September 25, 2018
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Karzai Not Two Faced About War On Terrorism
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By M. Ashraf Haidari In The Great (Double) Game (Op-Ed, July 31), Thomas L. Friedman may be correct about some countries in the region to be “two-faced” in the war against terrorism. But Mr. Friedman is mistaken by comparing others’ duplicity with President Hamid Karzai, who has diligently promoted a single policy of seeking an enduring strategic partnership with the United States and pursuing good neighborly relations with Pakistan and India based on regional economic cooperation and integration. In his May 2010 visit to Washington, President Karzai clearly articulated to the U.S. government and people the importance of solidifying the U.S.-Afghanistan strategic partnership so that Afghanistan will never again become a no-man’s land, from which the U.S. homeland or assets overseas could be targeted by terrorists. We know that had Afghanistan’s post Cold-War reconstruction not been neglected by the United States, Al Qaeda could not have found a safe home in Afghanistan and used the country to attack the United States several times before and on 9/11. President Karzai has called upon Pakistan and Afghanistan’s other neighbors time and again, most recently in the Kabul Conference, to focus on realizing the region’s vast potential of natural and human resources and Afghanistan’s location as a land-bridge for regional trade in order to achieve long-term peace, security, and prosperity for every nation in the region. As Mr. Friedman notes, “strategic depth” as a zero-sum policy has once failed in Afghanistan, and will fail there again on the long run. Hence, Afghanistan’s neighbors or others with an interest in the country must think about win-win policies that define shared peace and prosperity in the 21st century. M. Ashraf Haidari is the Political Counselor of the Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington, DC.

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