When I opened my computer this morning and started puttering around my morning news routine: email >> Twitter >> now Google+ >> blogs >> Facebook… Facebook (double-take), I was surprised to find New York Time’s headline staring back at me. “Afghan Parliament debates impeachment of Hamid Karzai“. Could it be? President Hamid Karzai is now facing the very real possibility of impeachment?
My immediate reaction: Really? It’s finally happening.
It’s hard to believe that it’s already been nearly five years since my time in Afghanistan. Because of my time there, Afghanistan has always had a special place in my heart — and for my attention, but despite all the news reports that fly towards us from around the world, the true heart of the matter is always hard to gauge unless you’re on the ground. I haven’t been on the ground for nearly five years – so take my opinion with, you know as they say, salt. I’m certainly no analyst or expert.
So with that caveat out of the way – why “finally”?
When Hamid Karzai was first elected into power in 2004, the Afghan nation and the international communities had high hopes. He was the choice candidate for the west, with his iconic dress code and articulate diction, Karzai was famously commented on by then Gucci’s Tom Ford as “the most chic man in the world”. He was also Pashtun, a prominent Afghan tribe from the southern regions like Kandahar and Jalalabad – great as it was expected that he could make big strides in building greater bonds with those regions where the Taliban were known for having a stronghold. Afghanistan was on the brink of change. Progress, development, reconstruction – everyone was excited. Money was pouring in from the international community, and all eyes were watching – none more so than the local Afghan people so hopeful for the bright future ahead of them. Everyone had high hopes. Read more