Taliban ‘will be defeated’ if no political settlement: Karzai

KABUL (Tolo News): In an interview with Russian media, former president Hamid Karzai said the Taliban “will be defeated” by Afghans and the people will confront them and will form an uprising against them if the group continues its violence.
“If the Taliban continue to oppose that–this would be confronted but I want this confrontation to be political, not military,” Karzai said in an interview with Russia’s RTA. “They must agree to that or they will be defeated. The Afghan people will rise against them.” Karzai said the Afghan people are giving the Taliban an opportunity.
“This means an opportunity to coexist and to allow the country to progress. If they don’t allow that and if they continue to seek their own domination of Afghanistan the way they think of it, that will give rise to a national uprising without a doubt and I will be one of those people,” Karzai said. He added that the current situation is challenging but he hopes that the country will move toward improvement.
When asked about the best- and worst-case scenarios for Afghanistan within the next one or two years, Karzai said he doesn’t see the worst-case scenario for Afghanistan. “I have the best-case scenario for Afghanistan. I am seeing some trends towards that. Yes, we are, at the moment, in a very, very difficult spot. There’s immense violence in Afghanistan. There’s immense anger in our country, but I also see the Afghans are waking up to the new reality and those who want to want to, opt to stay in Afghanistan, will make it better,” he added.
This comes as US State Department spokesman Ned Price said that the Taliban is responsible for “outrageous and atrocious acts of violence.” “Well, there’s one party that is in most cases, responsible for the outrageous and atrocious acts of violence that have been perpetrated against the Afghan people, and that’s the Taliban, of course, other terrorist groups, ISIS also active, but we have seen an increase in these ongoing Taliban attacks. They show little regard for human life, for the rights of the Afghan people, including the basic right of the Afghan people to live in safety and security,” he said. He added that “the targeted killings, the destruction of buildings and bridges, other vital infrastructure, other violent acts against the people of Afghanistan, we recognize they are in stark contravention to statements from the Taliban leadership.”