Recently Afghan president Hamid Karzai rejected Dr. Ashraf Ghani’s offer to participate in a series of debates. Speaking indirectly of Ghani, Karzai said he will not take part in debates with those who have dual citizenship. Ghani is an Afghan presidential hopeful and Karzai’s strongest contender in presidential race. He is believed to have American citizenship. However, Ghani’s campaign says has already given up US citizenship. Ghani, on the other hand, accused Karzai of lack of courage to face him in debates. Here is a press release from Ghani’s camp.
“The decision of Mr. Karzai not to participate in a series of three debates, which we had agreed upon, is a significant setback to our fledgling democracy in Afghanistan.
The mind is able to only to come up with two logical explanations for Mr. Karzai’s decision.
The first is that he has no intention of going through with the election as scheduled on August 20 and therefore, speaking directly to the Afghan people in a televised debate would be what he considers a waste of time. This would be a tragedy for Afghanistan in addition to being totally illegal under our constitution.
I call on President Karzai to publicly declare that the election on August 20 will go on as scheduled and that he will do nothing to deny the people of Afghanistan the right to make necessary changes in their government.
Second is a serious and profound charge to make against any Afghan, but in this instance, one is led to the conclusion that President Karzai simply lacks the courage to face myself and to defend himself to the people of Afghanistan. This is a very serious allegation, as the Afghan people are known for many things: our deep and abiding Islamic faith, our concern for our families and communities, our hard work, and perhaps as much as anything, our strength and courage.
Now that it is evident that President Karzai cannot hide behind the apron of the Bush Administration and he is forced to stand alone to speak directly to the Afghan people, he has decided to stay closeted in his palace. This decision confirms what many Afghans have come to realize. This president simply lacks the courage and the strength to lead our great nation.
The truth is, every Afghan in everyday life has to fight the scourge of insecurity, lawlessness and thugs, the lack of electricity, the unsafe drinking water and a corrupt government. Now, it is our time, Afghanistan.”