President sees no major crisis after withdrawal of Nato forces
28 November, 2012
KABUL: President Hamid Karzai said on Tuesday that there would be no major crisis in post-2014 Afghanistan, insisting that the country was on the road to progress and stability.
Addressing a conference on the future of Afghanistan's national industries , the president urged foreign and Afghan entrepreneurs to make use of the investment opportunities offered by his government.
He once again criticized Western media for painting a grossly negative picture of Afghanistan after the withdrawal of foreign troops in 2014.
"The year 2014 is haunting our minds because the West is spreading propaganda about it.
The reason is obvious: the US and its allies are trying to promote their interests in security deals with Afghanistan. And we seek our own benefits," Karzai said.
Before his speech, the president inaugurated an exhibition showcasing a wide variety of Afghan-made products, including a domestically produced water-powered turbine. The quality of locally-manufactured products was better than the ones imported from neighbouring countries, he said, urging Afghans to purchase local goods.
While wooing foreign investors, Karzai rejected as baseless spooky predictions about the security situation after 2014. Through its powerful media and think-tanks, the West was trying to pressurise Afghanistan, which would protect its interest, he said.
The president referred to a November 14 survey of the Asia Foundation, which said more than 50 percent of Afghans, increasingly supporting the government's peace and reconciliation policy, think the country was moving in the right direction.
According to the poll, 52 percent of Afghans, compared with 46 percent in 2011, are optimistic about the country's future. Likewise, support for the reconciliation campaign remains high at 81 percent.
"We should try to find the facts. Without any doubt, our country is moving toward progress, prosperity and stability.
We should stop thinking about 2014," the president remarked.
Wafiullah Iftikhar, the Afghanistan Investment Support Agency chief, said investment in the country had increased by 20 percent to $553 million this year from $468m in 2011.