He said the international community’s efforts should be focused on the people of Afghanistan rather than a “failed partner” — a thinly veiled reference to Mr. Karzai.
J. Alexander Thier, director of the Future of Afghanistan Project at the U.S. Institute of Peace, said the elections were a “terrible experience” that had damaged the U.S.-Afghan relationship.
Mr. Abdullah described the growing gap between Afghans and their government as the biggest problem facing Afghanistan and criticized the lack of governance and rampant corruption across the country.
Discussing a forthcoming peace jirga with local Afghan leaders, he said his participation would depend on whether there is a clear agenda for the meeting. “We cannot go back on education and women’s rights because of the demands of terrorists who are in bed with al Qaeda,” he said.
Discussing the ongoing U.S. military operation in Kandahar, Mr. Abdullah said the success of the mission depended on fixing the broken governance in the province. Mr. Karzai’s half-brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, is the top civilian official in Kandahar.