JOHN HUMPHRYS: Hamid Karzai is a Pashtun
and he was the Deputy Foreign Minister of Afghanistan before the Taliban
took over. Washington has been pinning many of it hopes on him to rally
opposition to the Taliban around Kandahar. He won't be at the conference
in Germany because he has got too much to do at home . I spoke to him
on a satellite phone a few minutes ago and asked him how much of a fight
the Taliban will put up for Kandahar.
HAMID KARZAI: In truth in the provinces
surrounding Kandahar, the provincial administration centre, the provincial
capitals have fallen to popular revolt where the Taliban governors and
the other administrators have run away without putting up a fight or any
resistance and those provinces are peaceful and they are in the hands of
people. I hope the Taliban in Kandahar will do the same, I hope they will
run away and let these people take over.
HUMPHRYS: If they don't, if they
put up a real fight, do you want British and American forces to help.
KARZAI: If they continue to cause
bloodshed for our people, if they continue to shelter these terrorists
in Afghanistan and continue to give them an opportunity to fight the Afghans
and cause suffering to the Afghan people, we Afghans will be capable on
our own when we decide to challenge them and to neutralise them.
HUMPHRYS: But American bombing
- you'd want that?
KARZAI: I hope the bombing will
stop as soon as possible and we have peace returned to Afghanistan and
I hope that Mullah Omar would not cause any more trouble to the Afghan
people. The bombing has been there because he has been protecting the terrorists
and I hope he would not cause any more bombing of Afghanistan.
HUMPHRYS: Moving to the talks in
Germany, do you believe that the Northern Alliance is truly prepared to
accept a broad based government that might even include some members, former
members of the Taliban?
KARZAI: The United Front is an
Afghan organisation, it's an Afghan group, they are as much a part of Afghanistan
as the other people of Afghanistan are. I hope they would recognise and
I hope they will see the need that Afghanistan needs to take a new look
that the people of Afghanistan are to determine their future. I don't think
it's up to groups in Afghanistan, whether the United Front or this or that
or any other front to take power without the will of the Afghan people.
I would recommend very much to all our Afghan friends and brothers that
they allow a Loya Jirga, a representative process of the Afghan people
to determine the future of the country.
HUMPHRYS: And if that Loya Jirga
as you describe it, the representatives meeting, if it says we would like
to see some of the Taliban in the future government, would you accept that
KARZAI: I don't think the Loya
Jirga would say that, I'm sure about that but if the Loya Jirga makes a
decision one way or the other it's a decision of the people that has to
be respected but I very much doubt that the Loya Jirga would even consider
a thing like that.
HUMPHRYS: And just a final thought,
do you think that in the future Afghanistan it would be helpful to have
a British and American and perhaps other forces acting as a sort of stabilising
force to help control some of the key towns and cities in Afghanistan?
KARZAI: Yes the Afghans would very
much need the presence of a stabilising forces in Afghanistan, the help
of the international community, especially the United States and Europe
is extremely critical, I hope they would also be talking to our neighbours
to see that Afghanistan returns to stability. The Afghan people very much
want stability, they are people just like any other country, just like
any other people. They want life, they want to earn a decent living and
if that is helped by outside, by the international community it should
be a tremendously good thing for us.
HUMPHRYS: Mr Karazi, many thanks
for talking to us this morning.
KARZAI: Thank you.