Afghan govt corrupt, overrun by opium sale: US MP
Last Updated: Tuesday, July 13, 2010, 14:12
Washington: Afghanistan is being run by a corrupt government overrun by opium sales and insensitive to the need to take care of its people, an influential US lawmaker has said, pressing for a July 2011 withdrawal deadline and for the government to take ownership of the conflict.

"I saw a corrupt government overrun by opium sales, not understanding the need to take care of the people and making them stakeholders in their own victory," Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee told in an interview.

Jackson-Lee, who has just returned from a visit to the war-torn Afghanistan, said the current situation in that country is troubling.

"My assessment is that, as the military remains resilient, but lives are ascending in loss as our allied forces continue to work with us, we cannot be detracted by phony comments about typographing our departure to the enemy," she said.

She argued that the US forces should leave the country by July 2011 and that the Afghan government has to take responsibility of their country's security completely.

"We must leave. We should leave by July 2011. We should hand over the enforcement of security to the Afghan national security forces, which will be upwards of 300,000 by that time," she said.

"We need to continue to work with the Afghan people on reconstructing. But this is a civil war. Al Qaeda is not there. And we cannot continue to undermine the United States military by staying in this war," Jackson-Lee said.

Disagreeing with the argument that Afghanistan will not be ready by then, she said the government must prepare itself, reform and fight corruption.

"The central government has to take ownership of this conflict. President (Hamid) Karzai must stand against corruption.

"Families earning USD 900 million of our money, individuals losing USD 3 million in Las Vegas and laughing about it from the Afghanistan hierarchy," she said.

She said the Afghan national security forces have to be trained to take over and that "they've got to take charge".

"What I believe is that we have the technical help to put the Afghan troops forward and to let them take charge.

"As long as we continue the Vietnam trail of saying we have not declared victory, we're typographing to the enemy, you will see the same kind of evacuation that we tragically saw with helicopters leaving Vietnam as it did some 30, 40 years ago. I don't want that," she said.


First Published: Tuesday, July 13, 2010, 14:12

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