Hours after the “Mother of All Bombs” attack on alleged Daesh’s network of tunnels, caves and landmines in eastern Nangarhar province bordering Pakistan Thursday, the presidential palace had backed the move, hailing it as useful in the ongoing joint military offensives carried out by the Afghan and the U.S. forces there.
In a series of tweets Saturday, Karzai said: “Unfortunately, the U.S. presence in Afghanistan is moving us towards more war and destruction as signaled by its latest WMD [weapons of mass destruction] use on our land.
“The endorsement of U.S. WMD use on Afghan soil by NUG is against the aspiration of our people. I, as a citizen of this country, can no longer consider the NUG as my representative.”
Critics of Karzai, however, doubt his sincerity over his harsh statements on Thursday’s attack, saying the ex-president’s latest campaign against the U.S. forces in Afghanistan and the National Unity Government (NUG) in Kabul only reflects his personal political agenda to come back to power.
Also, Karzai has long been seen as a hidden force against President Ashraf Ghani-led government in Kabul.
Mohammad Asif Siddiqui, a member of Masharano Jirga (upper house), told Anadolu Agency it was ironic that Karzai was criticizing the government for endorsing the U.S. given the fact that he himself had been installed as president by the Americans.
Also, Siddiqui recalled, during his two tenures at the helm, hundreds of thousands of Americans were actively engaged in fighting in Afghanistan during which they conducted numerous air raids.
“For the personal grudges that he might have, people’s sentiments should not be misguided and abused,” he said.
Observers also said Karzai was all smiles when he awarded Afghanistan's top civilian award “Ghazi Amanullah Khan Award" to former U.S. President George W. Bush and also his ties with Washington soared during his last days in office over the Bilateral Security Agreement issue between the two countries.
Bomb causes immense damage
Officially known as a GBU-43B, or massive ordnance air blast weapon, the so called “Mother of All Bombs” was tested after the Iraq invasion in 2003, but this is first time the deadliest non-nuclear was used in Afghanistan. It unleashed an estimated 11 tons of explosives on alleged Daesh hideout.
Kazim Humayon, an environment expert, told Anadolu Agency that such bombs contain several lethal elements such as lead, cadmium and mercury, which cause diseases like cancer, respiratory and digestive problems, the embryonic deformation, stroke, high blood pressure and poor vision among survivors.
The bomb was so massive that it even caused damage in several house across the border in Pakistan. Footage aired on Pakistani broadcaster Geo News showed wide cracks appearing in several buildings, including two mosques in remote Malana and Zeran Villages of northwestern Kurram agency tribal region, which borders Nangarhar.
Residents of Malana told Geo they felt the tremor caused by the bomb, which shook their houses. No casualties were reported on the Pakistani side.