News / Asia

Afghan President Hopes for US Help for Families of Bales' Victims

Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during a press conference at the presidential palace in Kabul, August 24, 2013.Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during a press conference at the presidential palace in Kabul, August 24, 2013.
x
Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during a press conference at the presidential palace in Kabul, August 24, 2013.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during a press conference at the presidential palace in Kabul, August 24, 2013.
Ayaz Gul
Afghan President Hamid Karzai says the life sentence handed to an American soldier convicted of massacring 16 Afghan civilians “will not replace the loss” that his nation has suffered.  Speaking in Kabul Saturday, he also said he is in no hurry to sign a security pact with the United States that Washington insists is needed before the bulk of U.S. forces leave the country in 2014. 

President Karzai spoke to reporters in the Afghan capital, a day after a military jury sentenced U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales to life in prison without the possibility of release.

The Afghan leader said he did not favor capital punishment, but even if the American soldier had been given the death penalty it would not turn back the clock.

“A life sentence to him or a death sentence to him will not bring back our children that he killed, will not bring back the happiness of those families and will not replace the loss that the Afghan nation suffered. We are more in trying to bring an end to the sufferings of the Afghan people rather than seeking revenge that will not bring back the lost children of ours,” he said.

President Karzai urged the United States to take all possible steps to ease the sufferings of the victim families and continue its efforts to help bring peace and stability to Afghanistan

“What I want from the United States is to go back to those families and to provide them an opportunity for a better livelihood, to make the community happy by better economic activity. So if we are not happy today because of the loss of our children, so the next generation can live in a better environment and in that the most important thing is stability and peace,” he said.

In his news conference Saturday, President Karzai said that the United States wanted a Bilateral Security Agreement, or BSA signed with Afghanistan by October, but he was not in a hurry to do so.

Karzai is demanding guarantees be included in the agreement, such as bringing economic stability, security and peace to Afghanistan. He plans to convene a loya jirga, or traditional gathering of delegates from around the country to consider the deal.

“The new version of the document with improvements is now in our hands. I have appointed a delegation of the Afghan government at the political level to negotiate the larger political aspects of the BSA with the US government, with their representatives here in Kabul. So, as we reach understandings on the demands of Afghanistan, that I enumerated earlier, we will be ready to have a document and then that document will go before the Afghan people for their approval or otherwise,” said the Afghan president.

The security deal is meant to provide a framework for residual U.S. forces Washington wants to station in Afghanistan after the NATO combat mission terminates by end of next year.

You May Like

Video Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Gay-marriage opponents are looking for ways to maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture, one writer says More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Haron from: Afghanistan
August 24, 2013 1:09 PM
it is a must and good that USA and other countries should accept the need of Afghanistan and Afghan People like (permanent peace, economic, stability, safe country that no country should use Afghanistan policy against third party) otherwise I think this agreement won't assign by Karzai or another next president. because the big decisions are belong to Afghanistan people not in the hands of Government.

by: Davis K. Thanjan from: New York
August 24, 2013 11:24 AM
Afghan President Ahmed Karzai has a big mouth. He is negotiating the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) publically in the press for political reasons. His demand for compensation for the massacre of 16 Afghan citizens by the US army sergeant is reasonable, but he should discus with the US government and not in the press. His demand that the US should be responsible not only for the security but also for the economic stability of Afghanistan is too far fetched. If that is the demand, what is the responsibility left for Karzai as president of the country? If Karzai does not sign the BSA before the US troops leave Afghanistan, his fate will be determined by Taliban and al Qaida. Karzai can demand security and economic stability from Taliban and al-Qaida!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More