Transcript: Hamid Karzai, "Too Much of a Democrat"

"Nightline's" Terry Moran recently sat down with President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan before his meeting with President Bush. The following is an excerpt of her interview:

Moran: Mr. President, in your country today, there were three suicide bombings that killed 19 people.

I was there last week, two suicide bombings in Kabul. And this comes at a time when the Taliban have reemerged to take over large portions of the country.

Many Americans might look at what's happening in Afghanistan and ask are you sliding backwards into terror and bloodshed and chaos.

Karzai: Well, when the international community and Afghanistan together launched the struggle against terrorism, we were able to defeat them in less than a month and a half, all over the country. They run away, most of them, outside of Afghanistan.

And we began to rebuild, the industry building exercise and the institution of the government and of the country. We accomplished, especially in the institution building part of it, whatever it was asked of the Afghan people by world agreement.

The emergency grant council that elected the president and the government, the constitutional (inaudible) about the constitution of Afghanistan are very enlightened to write a constitution. The president's jurisdiction (inaudible) which 8.5 million people participate in parliamentary relations, in which 7 million people participate, and more than 7 million people participate.

So Afghanistan did all it had to do to embark on a new journey towards a democratic, prosperous future.

Moran: So why isn't it happening?

Karzai: In the meantime, while we are building inside Afghanistan, perhaps the international community and we, Afghans, together turned a blind eye to the terrorists' regrouping outside of Afghanistan, retraining outside of Afghanistan, and waiting for an opportunity to launch an attack again on Afghanistan.

That is perhaps the problem and that's where we have failed to deliver. So in order for us to succeed, we must go to the sources of terrorism, where they are trained, where they are equipped, where they are motivated and where they are sent to kill the international community, their soldiers, their engineers, their aid workers, and Afghan soldiers, clergy, teachers, and children.

Moran: This is happening outside of Afghanistan. You're talking about Pakistan, which has become a sanctuary for these extremists and terrorists.

Karzai: Well, we definitely want our neighbor, our brothers in Pakistan to take a much stronger cooperative approach towards terrorism and to remove sanctuaries of terrorism from their country.

Without that, there will not be an end to the suffering of the Afghan people or to the suffering of the sons and daughters of the rest of the world who are serving in Afghanistan. That's, indeed, true.

Moran: You want Pakistan to take a stronger stance. President Musharraf has just signed a truce with Taliban extremists right across your border.

American officials tell us they think that's a dangerous move. Do you?

Karzai: President Musharraf told me that when he visited us in Kabul and I told him, "Well, you have signed a deal and if the deal holds true, as it has been signed, then good enough. But if it does not, then it will be a dangerous thing for all of us."

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