Tribal elders in the Afghan city of Kandahar have sharply criticised the country's president over security and corruption.
On a rare visit to the region, Hamid Karzai was told that few dared join the Afghan National Army because they would risk being assassinated by the Taliban.
In heated exchanges, others accused the president of failing to deal with bribery and nepotism, the BBC reports.
Mr Karzai told the gathering people must take a strong stand against the militants.
"There will be no security in Kandahar ... unless all the people of Kandahar stand with one voice and pursue their sons, telling them to join the police, the army, and get an education in order to serve their country."
The president was in Kandahar with top US commander Gen McChrystal to win support for an anti-Taliban offensive in the region.