Hamid Karzai the Afghan President who is on an official visit to the U.K. surprised his hosts for criticizing the British troops who are on assignment in that country and fighting under the NATO flag. Karzai said that before the British arrived in Helmand province the Taliban had been routed from that province and the British army’s arrival in that province led to the Taliban devoting more resources to that area in an effort to engage and fight them. According to Karzai, the Helmand province was much more peaceful before the Brits arrived. British troops are very unpopular in Afghanistan as the history of British occupation of that country is said to be very brutal. In 18th and 19th century, the British were trying to stave off the Russian Tsars occupied Afghanistan and killed thousands in an effort to pacify the country. No wonder they still remain very unpopular in that part of the world. Karzai occupied his time meeting with British prime minister and shuttled between their meetings and saw the Pakistani President Zardari as well. There is speculation that some of the mid-level Taliban leaders are also in London and are engaged in talks with both Presidents.Karzai’s statement got little attention in the British press and that may be because of the evidence of casualties which indicates that since the arrival of British troops in Helmand the violence had increased in that province dramatically. Zardari and Karzai are both very unpopular back home and are considered to be extremely corrupt. Karzai is said to be deeply involved in the drug trade and has amassed a large fortune off the back of the corrupt practices in Afghanistan which the officials blame for the recent bank failures.
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Author Name: Zafar Sheikh