Transcript: Hamid Karzai
This is a partial transcript from The War on Terror: The Hunt for the Killers.
JON SCOTT, HOST:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD RUMSFELD, DEFENSE SECRETARY: Today, of course, the Taliban is not functioning as a government. The new interim government is in place and shares our determination to rid Afghanistan of terrorists and to keep them out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT: Welcome back to The WAR ON TERROR. I'm Jon Scott.
There is a new government in Afghanistan, and Fox News war correspondent Amy Kellogg sat down with the chairman of that government, Hamid Karzai, and asked him how he plans to keep the Taliban out of power.
AMY KELLOGG, FOX CORRESPONDENT: After decades of fighting and civil war, what do you think the biggest challenges facing your government and your people are?
HAMID KARZAI, INTERIM AFGHAN LEADER: Giving our people security, making them feel safe at home, stopping these bandits from going to peoples' homes. We've had cases in Kabul. We've had cases on the highways. That must stop.
KELLOGG: There are some allegations that you don't control the whole country, that you're really just in control of Kabul.
KARZAI: There is this relationship, the linkage between the countryside and the capital. There are allegiances there. The loyalty to Afghanistan is tremendous in the Afghan people. The problem is with armed people, not with the common man. Those are the causes of lawlessness in parts of the country. Those are the causes of banditry on highways, and also the remnants of al Qaeda, of terrorism and of Taliban. But that doesn't mean that this can go on. By whatever means, we will deal with it. So guns must go. Warlordism must go.
KELLOGG: And how do you plan to change this culture of war that so many Afghan men have in their system, deeply ingrained?
KARZAI: The common Afghan is disgusted with war and with guns. I am personally, as a common Afghan, disgusted with it. When I see the sight of a gun, I don't like it. I've asked my own security not to carry guns. The sight of it is unpleasant. So I see no problem in trying to convince Afghans not to like war. They dislike it already. They have suffered because of it.
KELLOGG: Many Taliban soldiers have been released. How do you propose or how do you envision reintegrating them into Afghan society?
KARZAI: That's a good question. These people have had no education for years. They have had war as the only means of earning. Well, we don't treat common Taliban soldiers as criminals. They're just people who do not have a job, who were forced to go and take the gun or who were just recruited by force to go and join the Taliban.
KELLOGG: There has been concern that there might be friction between the different ethnic groups that compromise Afghanistan and, of course, the government. How you envision a government that keeps everybody happy, that unifies all these different groups?
KARZAI: I think there is no such friction. Every Afghan is wanting a united Afghanistan. The political organizations and those who formed the Bonn agreement, they're all with us. They're all in the government. And we have good discussions. We have good and frank discussions, and that's a good thing.
KELLOGG: Chairman Karzai, what is your position on continuing the U.S. air strikes? There have been rumblings that some people in your government want them to stop.
KARZAI: Our position is that we will continue, strongly continue to fight against terrorism, to finish it completely, absolutely. The Taliban and terrorists, they must go away. They must go away because they have destroyed our country. They must go away because they have also committed crimes against other nations, the United States.
KELLOGG: How will Afghans cope -- deal with the international peacekeeping force, U.N. workers, this international presence that you have said you want to see in Afghanistan?
KARZAI: The Afghan people don't want intervention. That's true. The Afghan people don't want invasions. But the Afghan people do like help. They see the present situation as the international community helping us, just like the international community helped us when we were fighting the former Soviet Union. The Afghans have asked repeatedly for the presence of an international security force in Afghanistan and in Kabul.
KELLOGG: What can you tell us, chairman Karzai, about the apparently aborted negotiations for the surrender of Mullah Omar? And do you have any information about where he might be?
KARZAI: There was no negotiation, as such, for the surrender of Mullah Mohammed Omar. There was an operation to arrest him, and that operation was conducted in Baghram district of Helmand province a few days ago. We're looking for him. The hunt is on for Mullah Omar and for Usama and for their associates, and I think time will give both of them to us.
KELLOGG: Assuming that Mullah Omar and bin Laden are captured, Chairman Karzai, what will you do with them? And in your opinion, what are the crimes that they have committed?
KARZAI: Crimes against all of us. Crimes against Afghan people, crimes against the world, crimes against the American people. They must be tried. People should see the faces on television.
KELLOGG: What do you envision the role of Afghan women in the future? And how do you plan to make up for the years they lost under the Taliban?
KARZAI: We will make sure that women in Afghanistan get as much education as men get, that girls get as much education as boys get. And they will be part of the Afghan civil society, part of the Afghan administration. You'll be sure of that. We already have two women in the cabinet. They're working very hard to do all that.
KARZAI: Has the rest of the world so far lived up, Chairman Karzai, to its promise to help Afghanistan?
KARZAI: Well, we've had strong commitments. We're hoping we will see the commitments turned into reality in Tokyo, in the conference for the support of Afghanistan on the 21st of January. Last night, Prime Minister Blair was here and he made a very strong commitment of staying with Afghans. We like that. And just an hour or two before that, there were some very senior honorable senators of the United States here. And we met with them, and they made the same pledge and the same commitment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)