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    Afghanistan not a political laboratory: President

    KABUL (PAN): Referring to suggestions for a federal system in the country, President Hamid Karzai on Saturday said Afghanistan was not a political laboratory for foreigners.

    Speaking in Parliament, which entered its second year on Saturday, Karzai said several systems had been tried over the past 40 years, all yielding disastrous results.

    "To be clear, we will not allow bad dreams to be implemented in our country," he said, weeks after several Afghan politicians were invited to Germany for discussions on a switch to federalism.

    Former vice-president, Ahmad Zia Masoud, Junbish-i-Millie party chief Abdul Rashid Dostum and Hezb-i-Wahdat leader Mohammad Mohaqiq went to Berlin at the request of a US congressman, who tried to convince them into initiating efforts for a federal system.

     "After the invasion of Soviet Union, our country was turned into a battlefield. The countries that assisted us during the jihad against the Soviets left us at the mercy of neighbours after the defeat of communism," he recalled.

    Karzai added Afghanistan became the hub of terrorism and its commerce and infrastructure were considerably damaged. The country, therefore, needed a long time to develop, he continued.

    Open market economy was undoubtedly the best regime in the world, Karzai noted, saying that his administration was in talks on the subject with Afghan economists.

    "Our objective is to ensure Afghanistan's economic development without any problems, to make the country self-reliant and provide work opportunities for the people. We are also trying to enforce social justice," he explained.

     The security transition process would be completed by the end of 2014, but the security personnel and economy needed to be strengthened, the president continued

    Regional cooperation would be discussed at the Kabul international conference, scheduled for June 2012, while and international assistance would figure prominently at the Tokyo meeting in August, he said.

    His administration would follow the recommendations of the traditional Loya Jirga on signing the strategic cooperation agreement with the US, the president promised. The pact had to be approved by both houses of Parliament, he concluded.