The US and its allies have long struggled to win hearts and minds in Afghanistan. But cooperation with the leaders has also been hard won. The two sides had made progress on ‘a Strategic Partnership Agreement’ that would allow US advisors to stay in Afghanistan after the withdrawal in 2014 – that may now be in danger.
Shagul Rezai, a member of parliament said: “This kind of incident will have a negative impact and will create distrust between the people and coalition forces, and of course it will have negative impact on the ongoing negotiation, with regards to strategic partnerships.”
Afghanistan’s politicians are coming under increasing pressure to assert their authority in the face of what many see as Western domination.
One man in Kandahar said; “We demand our government to send this solider to court. We want to live in peace and freedom, we do not want this situation anymore, we want to be free from the hand of infidels.”
Another said: “This is a tragic incident. This should be investigated to see if he was drunk. If he did this deliberately he should be punished with death. Otherwise it will raise many questions and it will help the Taliban to benefit from this.”