President Hamid Karzai has complained that the US is not cooperating in the Kandahar massacre investigations. The US’s record particularly with respect to incidents involving human rights violations in Afghanistan is far from satisfactory. In almost every case wherein some atrocity was committed we have seen the culprits let off the hook. President Karzai’s complaint is, therefore, justified. Even immediately after the attack, the Nato and US commanders tried to conceal the name of the killer. But since the massacre of 16 Afghans, including women and children, caused uproar internationally, they realised that his identity could not be kept a secret and hence stated that he had been taken into custody.

Sadly, Mr Karzai’s pleas to start the trail inside Afghanistan have been rebuffed and reportedly the killer has been flown to the US. There is little chance that Sergeant Bales would get the punishment he deserves. Most probably, given the past record of such trials, if at all he is jailed, he would be out and roaming as a free man within a few years. The US has also hushed up the names of other marines that witnesses claimed were accompanying Bales, when he barged inside the house and carried out the killings. It was also this group of soldiers that set surrounding houses on fire after the massacre. For one thing, President Karzai appears to be fighting his stature as a US puppet. How much success he has in obtaining justice, remains to be seen.