LISD Commentary Looks at International Media Coverage of Statements by Afghan President Hamid Karzai

In a new LISD commentary, "Did Karzai Really Accuse the United States of Collusion with the Taliban?" Sarwar Sultani analyzes poor-quality reporting as a result of cultural and linguistic differences and its impact not only on public perceptions but also on government policies. Sultani discusses recent comments made by Afghan President Hamid Karzai that attracted worldwide media attention when they were portrayed by the international media as an accusation of a collusion between the United States and the Taliban. Sultani argues that reporting based on misinterpretation creates public misperceptions which in turn can lead to ill-informed government policies, noting that the purpose of the commentary is not to support President Karzai’s policies or decisions but simply to raise awareness about the possibilities of mistakes and misunderstandings as a result of cultural and linguistic differences. 

About the Author:

Sarwar Sultani is an Afghan scholar, currently finishing his graduate studies at the University of York, UK, where he is pursuing a graduate degree in Post-war Reconstruction and Development with a focus on elections and democratic governance. He completed his undergraduate studies at Georgetown University in Doha, Qatar, where he majored in International Politics and earned a certificate in American Studies. He is currently a Visiting Student Research Collaborator at the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination.

About LISD Commentaries:

The Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination supports a publication program that disseminates research conducted as part of Institute projects in a variety of formats. The published output from LISD includes policy briefs, issue reports, edited volumes, and book-length policy reports that are part of the Liechtenstein Colloquium Report series. The program also supports the e-publication of "LISD commentaries," op-ed style articles that provide analysis and insights to a broad range of current events and pressing policy issues. LISD commentaries are written by LISD researchers, faculty associates, non-resident associates, and participants in LISD-sponsored lectures, panels, workshops, and colloquia.