Staff Reporter

International community accused of letting country down

Karzai addresses OU studentsTaliban, Al-Qaeda caused collapse of the system

HYDERABAD: In a moving recap on what went wrong with his country, Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai squarely blamed the international community for failing to respond in time and prevent the systematic destruction wrought by Soviet invasion and later by the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.

Narrating what he described as an `Afghan story for Indian youth', Mr. Karzai who addressed the students of Osmania University here on Wednesday, recounted how the education system and institutions were destroyed, teachers were forced to flee or die and the youth persecuted in his country. The cream of the Afghanistan society ended up taking refuge elsewhere.

Caught in crossfire

"We fought the Soviet Union and its efforts to impose communism, which was alien to our values. Later those who supported us in this liberation war attempted to force their own values, the extreme right. My country was caught between the two diverse forces," he said.

The Taliban and Al-Qaeda caused a complete collapse of system yet the international community chose to remain oblivious to his nation's plight. That was till bombers brought down Twin Towers of World Trade Centre and shook the world out of its slumber. "9/11 was a direct consequence of the international community's neglect of Afghanistan. Those who took the planes and destroyed the Twin Towers were the same people who were torturing and killing my countrymen and women," he said.

Even as a packed audience of students and teachers heard him in rapt attention, Mr. Karzai said, "The international community completely ignored our plight till it itself got hurt." All those years of subjugation, his country had the desire to unshackle itself from the extreme forces but lacked in means. University Vice-Chancellor Mohd. Suleman Siddiqui and India's Ambassador to Afghanistan Rakesh Sood were present.