No secret talks with Taliban: Allen
WASHINGTON (PAN): (PAN): President Hamid Karzai has one of the toughest jobs in the world, Gen (R) John Allen said on Monday. There may be occasions when the US will not go along with him, but the relationship continues to be strong.
“We are going to have rocky moments and there are going to be words that'll be spoken -- we don't have to like them and we can even condemn them,” said Allen, who was the commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan till February.
Addressing a Washington audience, Allen highlighted the reality that Karzai was a democratically elected president of a nation that the US was seeking to make a sovereign state with the blood of its young women and men. There will be occasions where we will not get along. There will be occasions where we will be openly antagonistic towards each other.”
But on the whole, the ex-general opined, the relationship was strong and resilient. “I believe that the relationship is sufficiently strong foundationally that it will deliver the campaign to the end of 2014 successfully.”
Allen, however, strongly refuted Karzai’s allegations the US was holding secret talks with the Taliban and colliding with the terrorist outfit. “I would simply say as commander there for 19 months, that is not correct. I would be very happy to see what proof would lead him to make those kinds of comments.”
Allen observed the Afghan constitution, in whose framing the US had played a key role, put too much power in the hands of the president, who appointed not just provincial governors, but also the mayor of every town.
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