Michael Hughes: In 2003, then-U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Zalmay Khalilzad, with the full backing of the CIA, rendered Afghanistan’s Loya Jirga to a farce by strong-arming aside King Zahir Shah and anointing as president State Department darling Hamid Karzai. Now Zalmay, as special U.S. envoy, is once again guilty of foreign election interference and colluding with Karzai to rig yet another Afghan presidential election.
Khalilzad and Taliban negotiators, who are about to start yet another round of talks in Doha, hope to reach a troop withdrawal agreement by September 1 ahead of Afghanistan’s presidential election which is slated to take place on September 28.
In a July 31 interview with RFE/RL’s Radio Azadi, however, Khalilzad found the nerve to say that Afghanistan should not hold the election until the negotiations are completed.