Karzai urges peace after suicide blast

2012-09-19 13:10

Kabul — The Afghan president on Wednesday urged his nation to rally behind the push for peace despite persistent violence, evoking the memory of a former leader who was assassinated while trying to broker negotiations with the Taliban.

"We should all strive for peace," said Hamid Karzai, adding that doing so is a way to continue the mission of slain former President Burhanuddin Rabbani, killed by a suicide bomber posing as an emissary from the insurgents.

Karzai spoke at a memorial marking the one-year anniversary of Rabbani's death. The ceremony came a day after a suicide bomber rammed a car packed with explosives into a minibus carrying mostly South African aviation workers to the airport in Kabul.

A militant group said the attack aimed to avenge an anti-Islam film that ridicules the Prophet Muhammad. The film has sparked angry protests across the Muslim world, including in Afghanistan, after a video clip of it was posted on the Internet last week.

The suicide attack came at a time when the Afghan-US alliance appears increasingly shaky and many Afghans predict civil war after the majority of international forces depart at the end of 2014.

The Afghans may have to stand on their own more quickly than previously envisioned. A rash of attacks by Afghan police and soldiers against their international counterparts has prompted the Nato military coalition to restrict joint operations with Afghan forces.

Exit strategy in doubt

So far this year, 51 international service members have died at the hands of Afghan forces or militants wearing their uniforms. That is more than 18% of the 279 international troops who have been killed in Afghanistan since the beginning of the year, according to figures compiled by The Associated Press.

Under the new Nato rules issued on Sunday, operations with small-sized Afghan and coalition units are no longer considered routine and require the approval of the regional commander. Previously, coalition troops routinely conducted operations such as patrolling or manning outposts with small units of their Afghan counterparts.

It's unclear whether the coalition's exit strategy can succeed with less partnering with Afghan policemen and soldiers, who are slated to take over for foreign combat troops by the end of 2014.

Before Rabbani's slaying, Afghans and their international partners seemed more optimistic about the future.

Rabbani was the head of a group tasked with bringing the Taliban to the negotiating table and Nato was in the process of handing over cities and provinces to Afghan control and stepping back into the role of advisers and mentors.

Then on 20 September 2011, a man posing as a high-level insurgent emissary seeking peace went into a meeting with Rabbani with a bomb hidden in his turban.


He detonated the explosive as he shook Rabbani's hand, killing the former president on the spot. Rabbani's son later took on the leadership of the peace council, but talks are widely considered stalled, if they ever truly started.

And Taliban attacks and assassinations of government allies only increased this summer.

Karzai recalled how Rabbani consoled him when the president lost a brother who was gunned down by insurgents in July 2011.

Many Afghans criticized Karzai for continuing to pursue reconciliation with the Taliban but Rabbani stood by his side, telling him that "you did not lose the voice of peace. The Afghan nation needs peace".

Speaking after Karzai at the memorial, Rabbani's son lashed out at the Afghan government, accusing it of not doing enough to bring his father's murderers and those of other politicians to justice.

"People have the right to know who the people are behind these series of killings and why," Salahuddin Rabbani said. "Unfortunately, the government has failed in its investigations."

On Wednesday, a bomb hidden in a parked motorcycle exploded outside a police training centre in western Afghanistan, killing two security guards, said Herat provincial police spokesperson, Noor Khan Nikzad. He said six guards were also wounded in the explosion.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but it matched the pattern of Taliban strikes that typically target Afghan forces or government workers.

  • mike.jankelowitz - 2012-09-19 13:40

    Yes, peace and love is what the rest of the world wants, but it seems that we have to get rid of this scourge that is pervading our modern world. Mr Karzai, start by teraching your people that love is the answer, not hatered. Start teaching your people that if they want to go destroy themselves, to do it in the confines of their own homes, with their own people. Teach them MR Karzai, that their will is not the will of the rest of the world and that this will not be tolerated any longer. Dont preach peace to us while your own people are using their children to destroy innocent people. Dont preach about peace and yet you are doing nothing about making that start in the hearts of your own people. Yes MR Karzai, put your money where your mouth is and start teaching your own people that this route of destruction is not going to endear the Muslim faith to the world, it is going to poison the peace and teachings of your Prophet and make the rest of the world hate your people and Religion.Islam is about tolerance and peace,Really? Is this what we see around us? Is this what the families of innocent people have to live with for the rest of their lives? The curse that is being placed on these destructive people will ensure that even in the next life, their souls a dammed to eternal hell, no Virgins, or rewards, just Hell. MR Karzai, dont preach peace to us, go do this with your own people. The Western World doesnt want your peace offering, we want this mayhem to end. Thank you.

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-09-19 14:30

      @Salma - so how many attacks must be tolerated and contining apathy by regimes before something is done ? How much carnage ,death and offense must be tolerated before you act. How many chances must you give tyrants , brutalising its citizens ,neighbours and commiting atrocities before you do something ? So " It just angers me when those who caused all the mayhem and murder points fingers and blame everyone but themselves! " just be very ,very sure you know who to blame first. Its not Americans bombing mosques and markets , assasinating diplomats and murdering in sectarian violence ,they the ones fighting those. Lets not even talk of provocation , burning flags, derogatory statements ,invading emmbassies, disgusting violence and intimidation, putting hits on novalists,cartoonists and film makers. Try some self ctiticism , something the ME and Islam seems completely void of.

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-09-19 15:59

      @Pastry - well thanks for the chappies wrapper history lesson , its in no way good samariton because there are legitimate benefits to the interventions. Once again blaming the west on flimsy assumptions. The US did not train the taliban , they equiped the northern tribes anti-communist Mujahideen , how awful equipping them to fight the Soviet invasion . You also forget to mention Pakistan and China who also did the same thing and provided training camps . Bank rolling Mubarak , so did many other nations and the eqyptian people were quite happy with him for some time, again ommitions of everone else . Please any country that works with the US is deemed a puppet or poodle so that holds zero water. Isreal , seriously ? You gonna blame the US and the west for Saudi Arabia and claim they created it ? Revise your history there. Osama dealt with the Pakistani's not the US during the war and al-queada was never trained by the US . Yemen and the US are not buddy buddy either . Its the same propaganda put forth that convolutes ,distors and fabricates its own information to supports its allegations and thats why anything happens blame america/isreal . Where's the indignation of the Soviets , chinese and all the others that are conveniently ommitted . No self reflection , no accountability and with that nothing would change.

      insawf.londt - 2012-09-19 17:15

      ALLcovered you cannot deny the truth, pakistan another example of western meddling, America must pay more attention to her owne citizens, it is fast deteriorating into a third world country with weapons of mass destruction. It is no secret that America is striving for global dominance destroying any country in its way. Altruism is and will never be the motivating factor for their continous meddling in the middle east and the murder of innocent children and woman will always be labelled as "colatteral damage"

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-09-19 17:36

      insawf - America is dominant and has been for a while , if anything their influence has deteriorated which is counter intiuative to your argument . America is actually still not in a bad place economically and look at the countries who work with the states , Germany , Korea , Japan and even China who are all economic power houses now. We all saw how well not 'meddeling' worked in Rwanda , how leaving Kony to his business has worked . Collateral damage is not celebrated , the reality is that there are no 100% garentees especially when these 'pious' warriors for God use women and children as shields. Instead of fighting against them how about using the US as a massive catalyst for positive change ?The Religous blinkers are on so tight and the political milage it gets to arose hatred and anger rather than co-operation and development is what is so ridiculously mind blowing. Lets kill the engineers instaed of letting them build that highway , road, school or building.

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-09-20 08:56

      What slavery , what freedom was there before ?

  • ziyaad.cajee.7 - 2012-09-19 16:30

    When you attack black people, They call it "Racism", When you attack Jewish people, They call it "Anti-semetism", When you attack Women, They call it "Gender discrimination", When you attack Homosexuality, They call it "Intolerance", When you attack your Country, They call it "Terrorism", When you attack a Religious sect, they call it "Hate speech", But when They attack at the dignity of our Beloved Prophet MUHAMMAD (Sallal laho Alaihi Wasallam) Enough Said...

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-09-19 16:37

      You are free to voice your distaste about blacks, jews,women,homosexuals,countries, religous sects or whatever. Thats freedom of speech and expression .No-one is going to imprison or kill you for being patriarchial . Just because you don't understand it don't ask for special protection against it. Tyranical ideaology insisting by way of violence on special treatment from freedom of expression from the rest of the world, what audacity .

      bushmedic - 2012-09-19 17:07

      Who is you? My people dont go around cutting off people's heads in the name of religion ,suicide bombing innocent people etc... so please dont lecture people on dignity.

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-09-19 17:25

      @salma- yes you can although you'll be regarded by some negatively although Austria is a bit touchy on that considering Hitler was their national.

  • Rashida Patel - 2012-09-19 17:08

    south africans were killed..they knew they were going into a warzone ,helping the invaders and america says:\colactral damamge\

      warren.tickner - 2012-09-20 18:24

      @Rashida & Salma...while many share your sentiment that the NATO led effort should not be in Afghanistan you fail to see that the Taliban have waged war on their own people. In fact the Taliban have been happy to recruit foreigners from all over the world to spread their brand on Islamic extremism and oppression amongst the inhabitants of Afghanistan [FOREIGN OCCUPIERS]. While Karzai is a puppet and parts of the govt corrupt they are at least attempting to offer the population new opportunities in a more open society, trying to keep the country abreast with the modern world....while the Taliban are not concerned about collateral damage amongst the Afghan population as it imposes sharia and extremist laws without any care for the inhabitants of Afghanistan. The one who oppresses others should fear Allaah and beware of transgression, because it will be counted as multiples of transgressions on the Day of Resurrection: one for him disobeying Allaah, another for him oppressing his fellow Muslim, and a third for initiating and opening the gate of transgression and oppression for others to imitate.

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