Karzai Stands Firm on Disbanding Private SecuritySubmitted by LibertyPulse.com on Sun, 08/22/2010 - 11:24
Hamid Karzai, the president of Afghanistan, pledged to disband private security firms in his country within four months in an exclusive interview on "This Week." Karzai insisted having those companies operate in Afghanistan undermined the country's security forces and were a source of corruption, thievery and harassment. He also alleged that some private security firms engaged in terrorist activity.
In an interview with anchor Christiane Amanpour, Karzai said the quick deadline for their disbandment was necessary. "The more we wait, the more we lose," he said from Kabul.
He insisted the companies were "running a parallel security structure to the Afghan government."
"One of the reasons that I want them disbanded and removed by four months from now is exactly because that their presence is preventing the growth and the development of the Afghan Security Forces, especially the police force because 40,000, 50,000 people are given more salaries than the Afghan police," he said.
"Why would an Afghan young man come to the police if he can get a job in a security firm, have a lot of leeway and without any discipline?" the president of Afghanistan asked.
"In order for security forces to grow, these groups must be disbanded," Karzai said.
He then spoke directly to Americans with a pitch that sounded almost Washingtonesque. "I am appealing to the U.S. taxpayer not allow their hard-earned money to be wasted on groups that are not only providing lots of inconveniences to the Afghan people, but actually are, God knows, in contract with Mafia-like groups and perhaps also funding militants and insurgents and terrorists through those firms," he said.