Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Political Landscape

PashtoMashtoLeaks (1): Bagram Calling

AAN Team 3 min

Yesterday, the BBC reported as follows: ‘President Barack Obama has told US troops in Afghanistan they are making crucial “progress” against insurgents. During an unannounced visit to Bagram air base near Kabul, Mr Obama said: “Today we can be proud that there are fewer areas under Taliban control.” He also spoke to President Hamid Karzai for about 15 minutes by telephone.’ AAN has been able to obtain the secret transcript of the conversation between President Hamed Karzai (K) in the Arq of Kabul and visiting President Barack Obama (O), kept in Bagram by the afternoon dust storm. // Parental advisory: Attention, attention! The following bloc is satirical. People without a sense of humour are strongly advised to stop reading here.

Date 2010-12-03 23:59:59
Source xxxxx
Classification SECRET//NOFORN
S E C R E T SECTION 007 OF xx KABUL 999962
Classified By: xxxxxxxxxx

Dup-du-dup-dup-DUP-DUP ………………. drang, drang*!


Beg your pardon, is this the Presidential Palace? This is President Obama’s office. The President would like to talk to President Karzai, please.


Beg your pardon, is this the Presidential Palace? This is President Obama’s office. The President would like to talk to President Karzai, please.


Errrrrrm. Hamcurry-e President Obama käbirree kawhee…***

Kho! Yak la’za ba gush-e tan ba-shed! (**** Steps in the background)

K: Ho? Tsok khaberi kawi?*****

O: Hamed! This is Barack. So nice to hear you voice. How are you doin’?

K: Ehhh … Shaghelai Rais? Obama Saheb?? Rishtiya wayee?******

O: ??? … Is there a translator? (Whispers in the background, inaudible……..) Yes, Hamed, indeed, it is me, Barack Obama.

K: Wallah! Khudai moo ra-wala, rais saheb!******* How is the weather in Washington?

O: Emmmm, actually I just have landed in Bagram to see our soldiers. I was planning to come over to Kabul for a meeting but the storm outside doesn’t allow me.

K: Yes, indeed, terrible weather, first the smog, and now the dust storm. But why didn’t you let me know earlier. I would have welcomed you in person.

O: Well, security reasons, you understand, I guess.

K: Well, hmmmm, yes, indeed, I do. (in a low voice: Da ingreezan munga hits wakht ne-shamileygee.********). Anyway, welcome to Afghanistan. Khudai dee rawala, Ra’is Saheb. How was your flight? How is your esteemed family, and how is Miss Michelle?

O: Well, thanks, very well, I really appreciate it. — How are You, Qayyum, Hekmat and Hashmat? Ahmad Wali wa Mahmud?

K: This line is not working, I can’t hear you, Mr. President, there is no signal…. fshhhhhhhhhh, toot toot toot…

Dup-du-dup-dup-DUP-DUP ………………. drang, drang!


O: Sorry, we were cut off…


O: Can I talk to President Karzai, again, please?


K: Da gusha ma ta ra-ka!********* ……………….. I am so sorry. These telephone companies, they really do not do their job properly. Mr. President, it is an exciting surprise you are here. I hope you have enjoyed meeting your soldiers. It will encourage them and keep their moral high. What I wanted to ask you, Mr President. Last night, I went through some of the documents leaked by…

O: Hamed, listen, I am really sorry. This line is really not working very well, and I have to catch my flight now. Take care, talk to you next time. Toot toot toot…

(*) Pashto for: ring, ring!
(**) Pashto for: Yes?
(***) Broken Dari/Pashto for: This is Mr Obama’s office speaking…
(****) Dari for: Okay! Hold on for a moment.
(*****) Pashto for: Who’s speaking?
(******) Pashto for: No kidding?
(*******) A specific Kandahari term that can be used as a welcome, a goodbye, a thank, to start or to refresh an acquaintanceship.
(********) Pashto for: Those foreigners never involve us.
(*********) Pashto for: Give me the phone…