People in Afghanistan’s Western province of Herat have held a demonstration in protest against deadly night raids by US-led forces, Press TV reports. The demonstration led by Afghan tribal elders condemned the ongoing NATO nighttime operations. The protesters called on their government to help bring an end to the foreign forces’ operations in Afghanistan.
Demonstrators say foreign forces have stormed residential areas in their villages and made arrests on numerous occasions.This comes a few days after Afghan President Hamid Karzai blamed foreigners for widespread corruption in Afghanistan. "The big corruption is in transactions and contracts involving outsiders in Afghanistan...these contracts are given to senior government officials or their relatives," said Karzai in a speech on December 22 in Kabul. Karzai went on to say that when "foreign forces have left Afghanistan [in 2014]... their contracts, their administration will gradually disappear," adding, "This will help Afghanistan get rid of corruption, and it will be good for Afghanistan." Foreign forces are scheduled to withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of 2014 and hand over responsibility for the country’s security to the Afghan government. On December 5, Karzai also blamed the NATO Western military alliance and the United States for increasing insecurity in the country in an interview with NBC Television Network. The United States invaded Afghanistan in 2001 under the pretext of combating terrorism. The offensive removed the Taliban from power, but insecurity continues to rise across the country despite the presence of thousands of US-led troops. FAM/TNP/SZH