Iran blames foreigners for Afghan crisis
Speaking at the 5th Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan in Dushanbe, Ahmadinejad said financial support had failed to provide a breakthrough in resolving the Afghan crises.
Leaders of Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier, US Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Marc Grossman, Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia Robert Blake are diplomats are attending the conference.
The twin menace of terrorism and drug trafficking could be overcome if foreign troops withdrew from Afghanistan, believed the Iranian president. He said his country was ready to provide Afghanistan financial and technical support, but the presence of foreign troops remained the core dilemma for the war-torn neighbour.
On March 11, an American soldier killed 16 villagers in their homes in southern Kandahar province. The incident came days after US soldiers allegedly torched copies of the Quran at the Bagram military base, provoking anti-US sentiments across the nation.
The desecration triggered violent protests in several provinces, including Kabul, leaving 30 people dead and 270 others wounded.
He continued if NATO countries had spent only five percent of their military spending on Afghanistan’s development, the country would have been able to stand on its own feet.
President Karzai told the summit the international community had pledged aid to his country on several occasions and if the promises were honoured, it would have a positive effect on the Afghan economy.
Tajik President Emomali Rahmon said Tajikistan supported the actions and initiatives of the Afghan government toward reconciliation and peace and stability. However, he stressed support from the international community should be more effective.
He said his country fully backed the implementation of a comprehensive strategy for international peace and the post-war reconstruction of Afghanistan. “I think that more attention should be paid to the socio-economic aspect of this problem."
The Tajik leader said Afghan forces must be "fully ready for the fight against terrorism, extremism and organised crime, after a gradual transfer of authority to them. “For its part, Tajikistan is ready to provide extensive assistance for training Afghan border guards and law-enforcement agencies.”
Rahmon touched on the problems impeding the implementation of programmes meant for economic revival. He said urged the international community to "give it more effective assistance".
President Zardari stressed trans-border cooperation for transforming the region’s economic landscape and curbing extremism and militancy.
“We believe that the crusade against poverty and deprivation must be waged in tandem with the war against terrorism. Pakistan’s consistent position is that more than military might, it is a battle for hearts and minds,” he remarked.
Zardari said Pakistan believed that an economically strong and politically stable Afghanistan would be a catalyst for peace and prosperity in the region.
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