Karzai weeps for Afghanistan's prospects
Afghan President Hamid Karzai wept Tuesday as he lamented the impact of the ongoing violence on his country's education and future prospects, DPA reported.
Speaking at an event to mark Literacy Day, Karzai said he was concerned that the security situation in Afghanistan could force many people to leave, threatening the country's long-term stability.
"Our children can't go to school for fear of bombings, suicide attacks or aerial bombardments," he said to an audience gathered in a high school next to the presidential palace.
"Our teachers cannot go to school because of intimidation and threats of assassinations," he said, adding that the violence had prevented many schools from opening.
Karzai broke into tears when speaking of the Afghan children, including his own four-year-old son, who could be forced to emigrate and lose touch with their native country.
"I don't want my son Mirwais to become a foreigner," a tearful Karzai said. "I want him to be Afghan and grow up in this country and go to school in this Kabul."
More than seven million Afghans have fled to Western and neighbouring countries in the past 30 years of conflict. Millions have returned following the ouster of Taliban regime in late 2001, but a large number remain abroad.
During his emotive and well-received speech, the president also called on the Taliban militants to renounce violence and engage in the peace process.
"I call once again on the Taliban. Hey countrymen! Don't destroy your country to benefit others, don't kill your people to benefit others, and don't close your schools for the benefits of others," he said.