Prince Harry should be allowed to make mistakes, Afghan President says
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has dismissed Prince Harry’s comparison of war to video games – claiming “young men make mistakes”.
By Hayley Dixon
The 28-year-old Army captain gave “candid” descriptions of killing Taliban as he returned from a 20 week tour of Afghanistan, which some politicians in the country described as a propaganda victory for the enemy.
But speaking to ITV News and The Guardian President Karzai, who has a long-standing friendship with Prince Charles, refused to add his voice to the backlash.
The Prince claimed that his prowess on computers had helped him with on the battlefield, and described taking insurgents “out of the game”.
President Karzai, who described The Prince of Wales as “a very fine gentleman”, said of the furore: “Prince Charles is a great representative of Britain and the British ways of life. Prince Harry is a young man, we do give exits to young men when they make mistakes.”
When pushed on the issue he replied: “As I said, he’s a young man, and young men do make mistakes talking, while behaving, all of us have gone through that period, so let’s drop it there.”
His comments came as St James’s Palace announced that Harry is to pay a visit to Lesotho and South Africa at the end of the month for a three-day trip on behalf of his charity Sentebale.
He will spend the first two days privately, visiting Sentebale programmes throughout Lesotho, and on the final day will carry out public engagements in the Maseru district of Lesotho and then attend the Sentebale Gala Dinner in Johannesburg.
The last time the third in line to the throne was in Lesotho was in June 2010 when he took his brother, the Duke of Cambridge, to see Sentebale’s work as part of their first joint overseas trip.
President Karzai, who has not had a holiday in 12 years, is visiting the UK for a trilateral meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron, and Pakistani president, Asif Ali Zardari.
He used the trip to condemn the recent insider attacks against British and American troops, describing it as “a serious breach of hospitality”.
But he also echoed comments he made four years ago that between the country was safer between 2002 and 2006 than it is now.
He said: “Schools were open in Helmand and life was more secure. But I am not going to blame.”
He said he “appreciated” the sacrifices of the British forces and the contributions they made to the country, adding: “Whatever happened is the past, and now we are looking forward to the future.”
He now wants to move forward in the peace process, to make it something “tangible” for the people who no longer want guns in their communities, and to bring to an end three decades of suffering.
The idea foreign troops would completely pull out of the country was a “Utopian state of mind” but would ultimately fail as the country needs to rebuild itself with the help of the international community, he said.
In ten years time the situation in the country is expected to have improved three fold. President Karzai added: “A good future lies ahead of us but we need to work for it, and work hard for it.”