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Friday, 14 December, 2001, 17:25 GMT
Karzai's pursuit of Mullah Omar
Hamid Karzai
Karzai is confident Omar and Bin Laden can be caught
Afghanistan's new leader is uncertain about his nation's future, his commanders' opinions - and even about the structure of his own interim government.

But there is one thing Hamid Karzai is very sure of: Taleban leader Mullah Omar must be brought to justice.


It is a priority to continue the fight against terrorism - to finish it completely.

Hamid Karzai
"He's a criminal," the usually soft-spoken Mr Karzai told the BBC's Lyse Doucet. "Look at what he's done to Afghanistan. You know what he's done.

"Look at the destruction, look at the lives of people lost. Look at the years of oppression and lack of economic activity. The killing, murder, destruction of property, of values - the destruction of the very name of Afghanistan."

The interim prime minister is confident Mullah Omar will be captured, along with prime terror suspect Osama Bin Laden. He says the Afghan people support efforts to hunt the pair down.

"It is a priority to continue the fight against terrorism - to finish it completely," he said.

"To throw them out of Afghanistan and bring them to trial so those victimised by them get justice."

Brighter future

Meanwhile, Mr Karzai said he wants to start undoing some of the damage he said was wrought by Mullah Omar's regime.

"We must work hard to provide our people as soon as possible with the economic opportunity so that our people earn a good living," he said.

"We must fulfil a promise to the Afghan people to give them the right to self-determination, so that they can eventually be able to choose their own government and their own leadership by their free vote without any force on them - to make Afghanistan a country ruled by law, a country ruled by regulations, a country that gets back its institutions."

Kabul citizens near US embassy in Kabul
Afghans lined the streets to await their new leader
He says his first priority is to establish "total peace and security for the people of Afghanistan".

Meanwhile, Mr Karzai, who only recently arrived in Kabul, has some catching up to do.

Afghanistan's newly appointed leader was on the battlefield while an agreement on the coalition government was being hammered out in Bonn.

"I wasn't really aware of what was going on," he said.

"I didn't have a radio and an I could only speak to the various delegations maybe once every three or four days so I really don't know what went on there, what they agreed upon, what the structure is."

When asked for his opinion on complaints raised by warlords in his administration, he conceded that he knew nothing about it.

"If there is any dissatisfaction I'm sure that, in the intra-Afghan way, we will resolve it," he said.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Lyse Doucet speaks to Hamid Karzai
"The first priority is total peace and security for the Afghan people"
See also:

13 Dec 01 | South Asia
Eyewitness: New assault on Tora Bora
13 Dec 01 | South Asia
Afghan assault as deadline expires
02 Nov 01 | South Asia
Karzai: King's powerful Pashtun ally
11 Dec 01 | From Our Own Correspondent
That's nice, I'm prime minister!
05 Dec 01 | South Asia
Cautious optimism in Kabul
05 Dec 01 | South Asia
Q&A: Afghan deal
19 Nov 01 | South Asia
Afghan powerbrokers: Who's who
12 Dec 01 | South Asia
Normal life returning to Kandahar
07 Dec 01 | South Asia
Analysis: Deciding Mullah Omar's fate
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