External factors behind Afghan war: Karzai
KABUL (PAN): President Hamid Karzai on Saturday said his administration was emphasising on the United States to guarantee peace and stability in Afghanistan as part of the bilateral security agreement “because the war in Afghanistan has external factors.”
Addressing more than 500 youth at the Presidential Palace, Karzai said the three decades old conflict had been imposed on the Afghans, devastating theie country and continuing to unleash misfortunes on them.
“Therefore, Afghans are asking the US to end the war, bring peace and stability here and eliminate terrorist safe heavens across the border,” the president added.
Karzai once again urged the Taliban to lay down weapons and return to their homeland, believing peace and stability could come about when Afghanistan, the US and Pakistan reached an agreement in this regard.
About the security pact, the president hoped the US and Afghanistan would arrive at a conclusion in the near future. His government remained careful during ongoing talks on the agreement.
Karzai said the Afghans were unhappy with the performance of foreign soldiers in countering terrorism. However, he praised the international community for significant services to Afghans in areas of education and health.
“We believe the presence of US and NATO forces is in the interest of Afghanistan beyond 2014, if our conditions are met.” He said peace and stability remained one of the major demands of the Afghan nation.
Karzai explained Kabul had been in contact with a number of countries, including Russia, China, Iran, India, Japan and Saudi Arabia, on the signing of the security deal with the US to know if they had any objections.
About post-2014 concerns, he insisted there was nothing to worry about. “Nothing damaging will happen; propaganda is being spread by some foreign elements to create chaos among our people.”
About Pakistani rocket attacks into eastern provinces, he said the Afghans would never allow outsiders to carry out inroads. He revealed he recently sent a letter to Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, asking him to address the issue of cross-border attacks through diplomatic channels.
Karzai reiterated his promise the presidential elections would take place as scheduled, saying the vote was necessary to steer Afghanistan in a right direction.
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