News Karzai’s Victory is Afghanistan’s Loss  
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Karzai’s victory in Afghanistan’s Presidential election is a complete mockery of democracy and the electoral process. This also shows hypocrisy of the West which is trying to legitimize the sham election. The runoff election was made necessary because there were charges of fraud and corruption in the primary election. His rival Abdullah withdrew from the election because the election was going to be conducted by the same corrupt officers who committed fraud and corruption in the first election. How can such an election be fair?
Abdullah had a lot to say on the live TV when he made the announcement to withdraw from the election but this was all in the local language and no English translation was provided by the channels I watched. The channels said that he decided to withdraw from the election but did not give a call to boycott the election. He bitterly complained about the fairness of the election and repeatedly questioned that under the present situation how it was possible to conduct a proper and fair election. When Abdullah withdrew from the election then there is not even a semblance of legitimacy and credibility of the election.

People of Afghanistan are extremely frustrated with the Karzai’s Government. It is totally ineffective and is thoroughly corrupt. Karzai, his family and his government officials seem interested in only making money from the miseries of the people of Afghanistan. His brother is said to be working for the CIA.

People of Afghanistan are now being ruled by the War lords. There is no security or law and order. About half of Afghanistan is now under control of the Taliban. The other half is not under complete control of the government. The Taliban can strike anywhere. They have repeatedly struck in the areas of Kabul which are considered most secure. The main highway of the country connecting Kabul to Kandhar is extremely unsafe and insecure. Some people call it the highway of death because the Taliban can strike anytime anywhere on this highway. Many truck drivers when they have to drive on this highway say that they do not know if they will make the drive alive.

The Western countries agreed that the last election was fraudulent that is why the present election was needed but now Karzai has been declared the winner based on the results of that election. How can he be considered a legitimate winner?

In reality the Taliban have won the election because the western countries did not want the election because of the fear that there will be a big violence by the Taliban. Therefore, the decision not to have the election is a victory of the Taliban because they threatened that if there is election then they are going to escalate the violence. By not holding the election the western countries conceded that the Taliban can dictate what happens in Afghanistan.

There is no end in sight for the war in Afghanistan. One thing looks certain that the West cannot win this war. Karzai could not even hold a mock election therefore it is not his victory but it shows that he is completely ineffective and powerless in dealing with the Taliban.

Dr. Sawraj Singh is Chairman of Washington State Network For Human Rights, and Chairman of Central Washington Coalition For Social Justice.

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