Regional cooperation key to winning terror war: Karzai
KABUL (Pajhwok): Former president Hamid Karzai on Wednesday said the war against terrorism could not be won without cooperation among regional countries.
In an interview with Chinese state-run CCTV, Karzai, who is in China, said the war against terrorist in Afghanistan was underway over the past more than a decade now without producing any result.
Referring to insecurity in his country, the former president asked: “Are we more secure today than we were before the war against terrorism?”
Karzai said if the war against terrorism had been real, it would have been fought with cooperation from countries in the region.
He said the US and other western countries should have consulted regional countries on the ongoing war against terror, which he said could not be won without regional cooperation.
To a question about sacrifices rendered by the US and other western countries in Afghanistan, the former president said the US and its allies had rendered great sacrifices in Afghanistan, where their troops and civilians had been killed. He said his sympathies were with the families of the victims and felt their pain.
However, he said the question remained that what was the outcome of the war against terrorism? “We have the legal right to ask this question. We also have the legal right to offer proposals. During my time as president and after that I have had discussions with US and its allies.”
The former president urged the US and its allies to continue their assistance with Afghanistan and stay in the war-torn country. But in the same breath, he said the presence of foreign troops should bring stability to Afghanistan, empower Afghans not to endanger Afghanistan’s unity and independence.
About the revival of the ancient Silk Road, Karzai said its revival was of great importance for Afghanistan and the region. Its importance was felt centuries ago and would be felt in future as well, he added.
“This route is now only a plan which we want to be given a practical shape. This is the only shortest route that can alleviate poverty in the region, develop economy and bring closer the regional countries.”
To a question if insecurity could challenge the project, Karzai said the revival of the road would itself do away with insecurity. “Terrorists use jobless youth as tool. If jobs are created, security will automatically improve.”
During his trip to China, Karzai met with Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao on Wednesday at the Great Hall of the People in downtown Beijing.
Li said China and Afghanistan were friendly neighbours that understood, trusted and supported each other.
He said China would continue supporting the process of reconstruction and reconciliation in Afghanistan and helping to achieve peace, stability and development in the country at an early date.
Hailing the traditional friendship between the two nations, Karzai thanked the Chinese side for the contribution to Afghanistan's process of peace and development, and looked forward to continued assistance from China.
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