'This Week' Transcript: Karzai, Khan and Levitt

AMANPOUR: Specifically, those reasons are what?

KARZAI: Those reasons are that we must provide protection to the Afghan people rather than causing civilian casualties. We must end corruption and corrupt practices in Afghanistan. Stand (ph) by the international community by the way contracts are given. We must end parallel structures to the Afghan government. We must end the security firms who are spending billions of dollars, in the presence of whom Afghanistan would never have developed a police force.

AMANPOUR: Well, let me take a few of those things you've just mentioned. The private contractors. You have called and your office has called for them to be disbanded by the end of this year, in the next four months. That's something like 30,000 private contractors who are providing security. Are you standing by that declaration? You want them out by the end of this year?

KARZAI: Definitely, ma'am. This is a topic that I've been engaging with, with our allies for the last at least four years very intensively. Finally, I began to conclude after a lot of consideration and on a good ground of solid information that the more we wait, the more we lose.

Therefore, we have decided in the Afghan government to bring an end to the presence of these security companies who are running a parallel security structure to the Afghan government, who are not only causing corruption in this country, but who are looting and stealing from the Afghan people, who are causing a lot of harassment to our civilians, who we don't know whether they are security companies at daytime and then some of them turn into terroristic groups at nighttime.

They are wasting billions of dollars of resources, and they are definitely an obstruction, an impediment in a most serious matter to the growth of Afghanistan's security institutions, the police and the army.

AMANPOUR: Do you mean all of them? Do you mean even the ones who protect you, who protect military bases, who protect diplomats as well and aid convoys?

KARZAI: Well, we will -- we will provide a basis for those security companies who are providing protection to embassies and to aid organizations within their compounds and who escort diplomats or representatives of foreign governments in Afghanistan from place to place.

But we will definitely not allow them to be on the roads, in the bazaars, in the streets, on the highways, and we will not allow them to provide protection to supply lines. That is the job of the Afghan government and the Afghan police.

AMANPOUR: Mr. President, the U.S. says the Afghan army and police are nowhere near ready to take over these duties, and that an end of the year deadline is way too ambitious. Why are you doing it so soon?

KARZAI: Exactly the right question. One of the reasons that I want them disbanded and removed by four months from now is exactly because that their presence is preventing the growth and the development of the Afghan security forces, especially the police force, because 40,000, 50,000 people are given more salaries than the Afghan police.

Why would an Afghan young man come to the police if he can get a job in a security firm, have a lot of leeway and without any discipline? So naturally, our security forces will find it difficult to grow. In order for security forces to grow, these groups must be disbanded.

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