Hamid Karzai talks about the upsurge
in violence in Afghanistan [AFP]
The Afghan president had been attending the US-Islamic forum in Doha, Qatar. During his visit, he gave an extended exclusive interview to al Jazeera.

Hamid Karzai hits back at questions about his leadership.

Karzai has led his country for over six years, since US militray intervention led to the fall of the Taliban government.
Yet in recent years, the Taliban have been regaining ground, turning large parts of Southern and Eastern Afghanistan into a battlefield.

Last month, they launched their most audacious attack yet, in the capital Kabul, on Afghanistan's only five-star hotel, just yards away from the Presidential Palace.
In the interview, Karzai says he is doing all he can to counter Afghanistan's opium problem.

Production of the drug has grown every year that Karzai has been in office. Lastest UN figures show the country produces 90 per cent of the world's opium.
He has long blamed Pakistan for many of his country's problems, and in the interview he says he is hopeful that the elections in his neighbouring country will bring change.
He also explains in detail for the first time his reasons for his controversial decision to veto the appointment of Lord Ashdown, the former UN high representaive in Bosnia, as the UN's new envoy to Afghanistan.
Karzai once again refused to be drawn on whether he will stand for a second term as President. Elcetions are due to be held towards the end of 2009.

Watch part one of this episdoe of Talk to Jazeera on YouTube

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This episode of Talk to Jazeera airs from February 18, 2008.

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