Washington just arm-twisted Karzai into agreeing to a run-off vote that will likely be as bogus as the last one. In Afghanistan, ethnicity and tribe trump everything else. Karzai is a Pashtun, but has almost no roots in tribal politics. Abdullah Abdullah, who is also in Washington's pocket, is a half Pashtun, half Tajik. But he is seen as a Tajik who speaks for this ethnic minority which detests and scorns the majority Pashtun. The Tajiks will vote for Abdullah Abdullah, Pashtuns will not. If the U.S. manages to force Abdullah into a coalition with Karzai, Pashtuns, some 55% of the population, won't back the new regime which many Afghans will see as a western yes-men that is also dominated by Tajiks. If Hamid Karzai really wants to establish himself as an authentic national leader, he should demand the US and NATO withdraw their occupation forces and let Afghans settle their own disputes in the traditional way. This will also bring peace to Pakistan. -KHALID LATIF JANJUA, Kharian, November 1.