Afghanis slept better under Taliban – journalist

Despite a recent surge of violence in Afghanistan, including two deadly bomb blasts in as many days, and a damning report on corruption among Afghan officials, over 30,000 US soldiers are scheduled to be withdrawn by the end of 2012.

Freelance Afghani journalist Fazelminallah Qazizai argues that despite the mounting violence, the US should not be keeping its troops in the country any longer.

“I think the troops will not be useful for protecting the Afghanis anymore,” he said. “Ten years’ experience has shown that these troops have not been very useful in preventing these kinds of attacks.”

He believes that NATO airstrikes and nighttime raids have been killing civilians by mistake for years, and inspired a lot of people to “join some insurgency groups and fight against the current government.”

He has added that if the foreign forces do leave, the Taliban may very well overrun the country in a short time. 

“I think the national security forces are still not ready to have this responsibility,” Qazizai said.

He says that the average Afghani’s life under the Taliban was in some ways better than it has been during the last 10 years under NATO occupation.

“During the Taliban’s time, the Afghanis did not have this tension,” he said. “At least they slept at night.”

He admitted that some progress had been made with the support of the US, but said that most development has been made for the benefit of the US, not Afghanistan.

“Now we have paved highways in all main provinces,” he said. “But unfortunately, these highways are still under the use of the US.”

Meanwhile, international investigators have released a report saying Afghanistan is riddled with corruption and government officials are in collusion with the Taliban. Qazizai agreed, declaring that the current Afghani government is quite corrupt.

“I think those gentlemen that came together with the US at the start of the invasion in 2001, they were all corrupt people,” he said. “And those people are still all in the ruling circle.”