Pakistan failed to back peace bid: Karzai
"There is no doubt that the Pakistani people are supportive of our peace efforts. We hope the Pakistan government will also back our endeavour," the president said in a televised address to the nation.
Karzai also said his country was facing governments in the peace process, not dependent groups waging a war against Afghans. Therefore, the issue should be discussed with governments with decision-making authority.
He did not single out any country, but his implicit comments were directed at Pakistan, asking it once again to keep supreme the interests of its citizens and cooperate with Kabul in bringing peace and stability to both countries.
He referred to his repeated warnings that the menace, if not contained jointly, would spread to other parts of the region. Unfortunately, Pakistan has also been gripped by terror today, he said.
Karzai said he would call in a traditional Loya Jirga to rethink the roadmap for peace reconciliation efforts in the near future.
"Despite all this destruction, misfortune and suffering of the two nations, a double game and the use of terror as a tool of benefit continue against Afghanistan," the president deplored.
But the Afghan nation's key aspiration for peace and stability could not be met, said the president, who repeatedly called Pakistan a brotherly country.
Since all countrymen yearned for peace and security, his administration launched a reconciliation campaign, set up the High Peace Council and invited all Afghan fighters to dialogue, he continued.
Ex-president Prof. Burhanuddin Rabbani did all he could to achieve that goal, Karzai said, adding the international community also supported the process at London and Kabul conferences.
"But the enemies of peace and terrorist networks based in foreign countries did not shun violence against our leaders, politicians, tribal elders and spiritual leaders," he said.
"Peace was and remains our earnest desire, but the Taliban and their supporters have responded with terror. One-sided peace efforts cannot come to fruition. As talks with the opposition are going nowhere, the Afghan government is responsible for a decisive struggle against the enemies of peace."
With two significant conferences on Afghanistan set to be held in Istanbul and Bonn, the current year was vital in terms of giving the country a future direction, he remarked. On the other hand, security transition from foreign soldiers to Afghan forces is also ongoing.
"We remain committed to implementation of development projects, good governance and improving security to pave the ground for the withdrawal of foreigners and let Afghanistan stand on its own after 2014," he said.
Karzai explained Afghanistan would sign a strategic cooperation pact with the US only if its conditions were accepted. The conditions include the country's sovereignty, removal of parallel structures and approval from the traditional Loya Jirga.
The government of Afghanistan had tried to divert US and NATO attention to the fact that the real war on terror should target hotbeds and training camps of terrorists in Pakistan, Karzai added.
He stressed: "We have always said that the war on terror should not be fought in Afghan villages, not in houses of the poor and oppressed Afghans, but in militant sanctuaries, financial sources and training bases.”
Thousands of innocent civilians had died over the past 10 years in Afghanistan, despite his protests that the war on terror should be waged in Pakistan, he said, calling on the public that the time had come for Afghan political and military leaders, religious clerics, influential figures and tribal elders to join hands for the protection of the country’s territorial integrity.
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