KABUL, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- The address of President Barack Obama to State of the Union, wherein he stated that the United States would have a small number of troops in the post-2014 Afghanistan if the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) is inked, raised the ray of hope among the war-weary Afghans.
In his address Tuesday, the U.S. president said he is ready to keep a small number of troops in Afghanistan after the 2014 pullout of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force ( ISAF) in the militancy-plagued country to train and assist Afghan forces in the counter-terrorism operations.
Almost all Afghans believe that not giving ultimatum to Afghan government in President Obama's landmark speech to ink the controversial BSA, speaks of U.S. determination to assist Afghanistan in long-term basis and not to leave Afghans in lurch, as it did in 1989 after the withdrawal of erstwhile Soviet Union from the country which led to civil war and eventually emerging Taliban and al-Qaida networks.
President Hamid Karzai has welcomed the remarks of his U.S. counterpart on Afghanistan in the State of the Union address as a good omen for the interests of both the nations.
"In his State of the Union Address to the American nation, President Obama reaffirmed his country's commitment to a unified Afghanistan. President Karzai welcomed these remarks, which indeed is a reaffirmation of Afghanistan's long-standing position and called it in the good interest of the two countries' bilateral relations," a statement posted in Afghan Presidential Palace website on Thursday said.
Likewise the president, Afghans from all walks of life have appreciated President Obama's stance with regard to Afghanistan, saying the U.S. can ink BSA with the next president replacing Karzai after forthcoming Afghan presidential elections scheduled for next April.
"We had experienced bloody factional conflicts after the former Soviet Union forces withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1990s and don't want to repeat it again," a Kabul resident Ahmad Fawad told Xinhua.
"Still I remember that one day a rocket fired from Charasiab district in 1992 slammed into Deh Afghanan area in Kabul city, leaving several innocent people, including men, women and children dead. That was an awful day," Fawad, 51 recalled.
Another Afghan, Mohammad Nadir also praised president Obama's remarks with regard to Afghanistan and advocated for early inking BSA between Kabul and Washington.
"Since Afghanistan is a war-torn and poor country, it needs long-term support of international community. In my opinion, if the United States of America withdraw troops from Afghanistan, all the countries supporting Afghanistan will leave the country," Nadir, 48 observed.
He also urged Washington to be patient and ink BSA with the next Afghan president if the serving president is not ready to ink it.
Afghans, in a traditional Loya Jirga, or grand assembly attended by 2,500 delegates from across Afghanistan, endorsed BSA in last November, urging president Karzai to sign it before the end of 2013, a demand also made by Washington.
However, President Karzai expressed support to BSA but linked it to preconditions which include halting search of Afghan houses during U.S.-led forces military operations, supporting meaningful peace talks with Taliban and ensuring transparent elections in the country.
In addition to Afghan analysts and politicians, ordinary Afghans have also shown support to President Obama's remarks on Afghanistan.
"President Obama's remarks are promising. Both the leaders of Afghanistan and America should exercise restraint and ink BSA for the interests of their nations. Delay in inking BSA would encourage Taliban and al-Qaida operatives to speed up operations in regaining Afghanistan and launching Sept. 11 attacks on America and other countries," a daily wager Mohammad Ajmal maintained in talks with Xinhua.
President Obama should be patient in inking BSA, he added.