Code 57752
PublishDate: Thursday, February 28, 2013 10:52

Australia debates troop withdrawal from Afghanistan

While Obama and Hamid Karzai recently met in Washington to renegotiate levels of troop withdrawal, Australia is well on their way to leaving little more than a foot print in the region.

While US president, Barrack Obama, and Afghan President, Hamid Karzai recently met in Washington to renegotiate levels of troop withdrawal, Australia is well on their way to leaving little more than a foot print in the region.

Since January this year, the Australian army has been withdrawing its personnel and equipment from Afghanistan, with an aim to leave the country’s security in the hands of the Afghan National Army. The army has been undergoing a training program, under the guidance of Western forces, since 2009.

However the pullout has given rise to public debate on the timing and the consequences the withdrawal will have in the region.

A public forum held at parliament house in Sydney allowed spokespeople from the Australian Afghan community and local politicians to discuss the future of a country they once called home.

The Hazara community voiced their fear of the resurgence of ethnic cleansing committed under the Taliban regime.
SB:
Abdul Karim.

“Discrimination is rife in Afghanistan still. So if you’ve got 100 years of discriminative policy against a minority group, you would be able to finish it overnight.”

Najeeba Wazefadost, president of the Hazara Women of Australia, expressed grave concern for the future of women in the region who suffered a life of extreme subjugation and violence under the Taliban rule.

All believe that the Karzai government --which is accused of corruption, along with the underdeveloped national army, are not the ones who will see Afghanistan into a prosperous future.

SB:
Ehsan Azari.
“In my view Mr Karzai is making some unpredictable comments, unpredictable decisions, he’s not strange to that sort of thing.”

PIECE TO CAMERA:
President Hamid Karzai has welcomed the announcement that more than half of the foreign troops will be withdrawn by 2014.

He has given U.S Special Forces two weeks to leave the province of Wardak after hearing accusations that Afghans working for the insurgents have tortured and killed innocent people.

This has placed the reason for deploying troops to Afghanistan for security purposes under the spotlight.

SB:
David Shoebridge.

“But the question is if the Western troops remain, if they haven’t achieved stability in the last ten years, what will another 12 months or 24 months difference really make.”

While the Afghan diaspora debate over what the next internal steps should be to assure safety in the region, one thing is certain; the troops will leave a region in disunity over the validity of their government, whether or not negotiation should begin with the Taliban and what regional powers they will have to deal with next.(Press TV)

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