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20.12.02 18:40
Karzay's achievements
Expert of Rossiyskaya Gazeta considers project of TransAfghan pipeline as "profitable and promising"

PROBLEMS of post-tallib stabilization in Afghanistan, its transformation into the centralized state ЁC is a theme of talks between the correspondent of Rossiyskaya Gazeta with the head of Afghanistan department of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Science, PhD on History Victor Korgun.

- Mr Korgun, year has passed after taliban regime was overthrown in Kabul and Khamid Karzay headed the country - the former political emigrant and the field commander guided to the West, mainly to the US. Concluding the first, intermediate, results, experts are different in their opinions and estimations. One assert that United States have achieved a full victory in antiterrorist operation, others - partial.

One year of leadership of Karzai is ambiguous: on the one hand, it promoted to stabilization of the situation in the country, with another, on the contrary, Afghanistan is returned in a chaos (as after leaving of the last "shuravi " in 1989).

Ambiguity of estimations is caused by complexity of conditions. It is really hard to understand what is happening in Afghanistan. Overwhelming majority of analysts widely share the opinion that the first fight in global war with the international terrorism is won. USA and their allies freed the country from "the Arab legion" of ben Laden and from fanatic-mulls, whose policy and actions were focused on returning of Afghanistan in Middle Ages.

- It is curious, that the victory in antiterrorist operation looks unusually easy. The regime of talibs was scattered within several weeks having failed to show serious resistance. How can you explain such an easy victory and where talibs disappeared?

- Talibs were strong until a strong opponent appeared. Talibs immediately started giving up as soon as the US and their allies to apply high military technologies, modern strategy and tactics. Absence of support among the population to talibs as well had its effect. During operations 2,000 of talibs, out of 30,000 army, were lost. Part of the army (about 1500) left to Pakistan, another disappears in caves in the east.

But most part of Talibs was dissolved, reintegrated into old or joined new structures. But the victory of the US army and their allies is evident.

- At the same time neither the US nor their allies managed to isolate bin Laden and mulla Omar.

- This, of course is an annoying reality, but it does not neglect the achieved victory. Talibs are removed from a political arena. These are the main facts.

- The facts, which are important for Russia. If not the antiterrorist operation held by the US and their allies, talibs would remain at the power, continuing to threaten southern borders of CIS. Russia would still hint, that is ready to destroy by bombing bases of terrorists in Afghanistan to protect secular modes in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, for what, I think, we should pay big money.

- Fortunately, we were lucky. Kabul authorities pursue not pro-Russian but at the same time not anti-Russian regime. Our expenses were not big ones: an old military equipment was given to Northern alliance, and planes of the Ministry of Emergency Situation made some humanitarian flights to Kabul. It was America who won the victory above Talibs.

- Probably, this victory pushed USA and their allies to undertaking the following step - to keep up its military presence at the Central Asia?

- That is true. But we watch closely the situation and looking for alternative. Visits of the Russian President and Defence Minister to Kyrgyzstan, formation of an air base in Kant evidence of it. It would be better if southern boundaries of CIS threatened by expansion of fundamentalism, were protected by joint efforts. Life has proved that the spiritual fundamentalism is not less dangerous than the international terrorism.

- One year ago, when Karzai was approved at the international conference in Bonn as the head of Afghanistan, big hopes were assigned to this 44 pushtun. In a year, during the same conference hi was criticized having been accused that a civil war proceeds in the country, while the central authority is acting in Kabul only.

- It is possible to put forward a number of other accusations, but it would be incorrect not to see new reforms. New structures in Afghanistan still are weak (if Americans and their allies leave the state, everything can fail). I canЎЇt agree that now there is a civil war in Afghanistan. It is a struggle of local leaders, sometimes severe and irreconcilable. Field commanders from Pushtuns, Tajiks, Uzbeks, other groups are leading local, regional wars.

- There is still another problem - drugs. They say that today more drugs are produced that during the times of Mulla Omar. So, the crop of a poppy will reach this year to 4,500 tons, whereas the last year this parameter was equaled to 74 tons.

- The matter is that now reserves are being used for processing the drugs. It results in growth of showings. Mulla Omar was used to burn crops of poppy, applied strict measures to peasants, but at the same time he continued to levy taxes from manufacturers of drugs. §Ї§С§в§Ь§а§б§в§а§Т§Э§Ц§Ю§С was and remains extremely sharp: 80 percent of the drugs entering Europe, are made on the basis of the opium prepared in Afghanistan.

- However, the government is undertaking urgent steps. This year crops of poppy have occupied smaller area, than in 1999. Government suggests 350 USD for each hectare of destroyed poppy areas. However, there is an alternative to poppy. Cultivations of wheat grow perfectly in Afghanistan. Nevertheless, money allocated for these goals by the UN are not enough.

- As far as I know, there was an agreement that Americans hit talibs, and Europeans should be engage in improving the situation in Afghanistan.

- Yes there is. But Europeans understand, that they need to pay huge money for seeing rebellious, unpredictable Afghanistan peaceful.

- Recently the president Bush has signed a decree on allocation of Usd 750 to Afghanistan.

- While not all figures are true, and not all allocated sums reaches the destination.

- And what must be done?

- The international community should realize that billions of dollars are required for rehabilitation of Afghanistan. America, certainly, supports its protЁ¦gЁ¦ Karzaj. But at the same time it is very cautious. Russia supports Northern alliance. Both Pakistan and Iran have their protЁ¦gЁ¦s. In my opinion, such a policy is dangerous.It would be better if all together support KarzaiЎЇs government, which carries out the tasks put forward at the international conference. I shall remind, that during two years the government is to form parliament, to prepare constitution, to carry out democratic elections. Besides creation of strong authorities it is expedient to start formation of army.The following steps are to feed people (in spring there were six millions of hungry in Afghanistan, now - two million), to give them work. Then to start solving problems of youth, veterans, public health services, education.

- And what about rehabilitation of the enterprises?

- First of all it is necessary to provide security. Some businessmen from Tatarstan and Bashkiria already have visited Afghanistan. There were tempting proposals, but nobody risked because there were no safety guarantees. In such situation at anyone, you see, disappears desire to open business. The most favourable and promising is, certainly, laying of gas main from Turkmenistan. There is such project, and for its Implementation not only Americans and Russians will be engaged.

Rossiyskaya Gazeta

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By Anatoliy Shapovalov

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