Karzai sticks to his guns on security pact
NEW DELHI: Amid growing wrangle with the US over signing of the bilateral security agreement (BSA), President Hamid Karzai has ruled out being “intimidated” or coerced into signing the vital pact.
The Afghan president is scheduled to hold meetings with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid during his trip to New Delhi.
Earlier, the Obama administration expressed optimism that neighbouring countries such as India would persuade Karzai to sign the security pact.
In an interview with NDTV, the president reiterated he would not be “intimidated” or coerced to sign the deal. "We are not a nation known for giving in to intimidation," he said.
Despite the BSA endorsement by the four-day Loya Jirga, President Karzai on rejected calls from the US and the tribal assembly for signing of the security deal before the end of 2013.
In his address to the concluding session of the jirga, the president said: “If there is no peace, this agreement will bring misfortune to Afghanistan. Peace is our precondition. The US should bring us peace and we will sign it. We want stopping raids on Afghan homes."
Karzai told the channel: "We will sign it when we will sure that our signature will bring peace and security."
“The BSA is the keystone of a much wider international commitment involving over 70 countries ready to provide economic and security assistance to Afghanistan beyond 2014,” Dobbins said testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
India is among the leading countries in terms of investment and providing aid to the Afghan government for reconstruction of its infrastructure. Analysts said President Karzai would persuade Indian officials to extend more military and civilian support to his country.
India had pledged to extend all out support to the Afghan government to ensure peace and stability in the war-torn country.
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