Afghan Government Differs On Blue Helmets' Mission

The Afghan government has differed on the objectives of the international peace keepers. The inter-Afghan agreement signed in Bonn reads that foreign servicemen will guard governmental offices, the airport and the outskirts of Kabul, as well as warehouses with humanitarian aid, but they have no right to patrol the streets or use force. This position was initially backed by the Afghan provisional government which emphasised that it would be Afghans who would enforce law and order in Kabul. The decision made by the UN Security Council to deploy international peace keepers in Afghanistan, also gives them right to conduct military actions in order to help Afghans to enforce law and order. It seems that this position is supported by Afghan Premier Hamid Karzai and Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah who has sent a message to the UN Security Council where he agrees that the peace keepers can use force. At the same time, Afghan Defence Minister Mohammad Qassem Fahim has another vision of the situation. Speaking about the UN decision, he stated on Thursday that peace keepers should not use weapons, interfere into internal Afghan feuds or disarm anybody. "They are here because they want to, but their presence is nothing more than a symbol. It is Afghans who are responsible for law and order. They /peace keepers/ may patrol if they really want to, but they cannot disarm anybody." The Minister also added that the members of the provisional government who had returned from abroad, wanted to be guarded by foreigners.