I’m at a loss to understand why the Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland telephoned the President of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to congratulate him on his appointment.
From my reading of it Hamid Karzai has the position of president because his regime is so corrupt that his opponent in the presidential runoff, Dr Abdullah Abdullah, withdrew from the process. The first ballot had been “characterized by lack of security, low voter turnout and widespread ballot stuffing, intimidation, and other electoral fraud” (Wikipedia). There had also been a considerable number of deaths in the violence caused by the election, including the deaths of British soldiers.
Apparently Dr Abdullah realized that the second ballot had little hope of producing a different result and withdrew in order to save lives that would be lost were he to pursue further his hopes of becoming president.
Within hours of this corrupt man taking his place as president of a country for which our troops are providing security, Brown was on the phone to him. Contrast that with the fact that the phone at Bute House has still never rung with a congratulatory word for the First Minister of this country two and a bit years after he took office. Fortunately for Alex Salmond any kind of backing from Mr Brown is about the last thing he (or indeed anyone else ....ask Tony Blair...) needs.