President Karzai Abandons Local Government to Military

Sayed Yaqub Ibrahimi, on the staff of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting depicts local government in Afghanistan as increasingly under the control of local military commanders. Habib Rassoul told him that his wife was kidnapped by a commander Piram Qul who refuses to release her back to the family. He complained to local officials who merely shrugged their shoulders. A member of the Takhar council, who would not give his name, said: “Every single commander has created his own local government in the districts. they do whatever they please with no regard for the law.” In the province of Helmand, Taleban Sharia courts now handle many complaints by people who prefer them to corrupt local officials.

Bush’s decision to invade Iraq before completing the task of restoring law and order to Afghanistan has left a legacy of complete chaos at the local level. The Taleban has moved back to power in many areas of the country. Six years ago there was a golden opportunity to build a strong, democratic Afghanistan. That hope now lies buried in corruption and violence.