Islamabad should have independent policy toward Kabul: Karzai
KABUL (PAN): President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday asked Pakistan not deal with Afghanistan based on its relations with the US and India. Karzai also said the federal system of government was ill-suited to Afghanistan.
Karzai discussed Pakistan-Afghan relations and the governance during an interview with local TV stations, a statement issued from his office said.
He maintained that Afghanistan was not involved in a NATO airstrike on November 26 on Pakistani security posts. He said they had already extended condolences to the families of those killed in the attack.
The already strained relations between Washington and Islamabad further soured after the cross border attack that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in the Mohmand tribal region.
The same day, Islamabad closed a key supply route for Afghanistan-based foreign troops and ordered the US to vacate a base in Balochistan province.
Karzai said Pakistan boycotted the Bonn conference on Afghanistan despite Afghanistan’s condolences over the attack. He said Pakistan had allowed the US to enter Afghanistan to oust the Taliban regime in 2001. "The insurgency has increased despite $2 billion annual aid to Pakistan by the US," Karzai said.
Afghanistan has an independent policy toward Pakistan and it would continue the same policy, he said, adding Pakistan as a neighbouring country should make a policy based on mutual interest.
"Pakistan should not deal Afghanistan on the basis of its relations with the US and India," he said and expressed the hope Pakistan would establish good relations with Afghanistan in the interest of the region.
Also in the television interview, Karzai opposed the idea of a federal form of government in Afghanistan, calling the presidential system excellent for the country.
The President said "the federal system can only be beneficial when there is a strong government in Afghanistan, with a strong army and police."
Karzai said the next president of the country must be a patriotic and well-educated person who had the ability to lead Afghanistan toward a better future and pull it out of crisis.
"He must consider all Afghans as his own people and work for the nation tirelessly," the President said, saying he would do what he could to help the next Afghan president.
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