US not interested in winning war on terrorism: Karzai
Karzai told Kremlin-backed Russia Today or RT TV channel in an interview that that there was more radicalism in Afghanistan and in the whole region than there had been ever before.
“That is why I've been calling for a long time now for re-thinking of the strategy in the fight against terrorism; for re-evaluating whether this struggle against terrorism is a failure or if there's a broader issue at hand here that we don't know yet about or we don't understand”
Karzai said it was the time, rather long overdue, to reconsider the whole question and to find answers together with major countries in the region --- Russia, China and India.
“In other words: the US and its NATO allies must now begin to consult with major powers and explain it. We must first find out if this has been a failure, but if this is not described as a failure, by the US and its allies, then we need to have explanations from them on what else is the reason.”
About the fall of Kunduz City to the Taliban, the former president said it was very unfortunate for people of Kunduz.
“We know that such a large force cannot ever get together and launch such a major operation against a major Afghan city without foreign backing.”
He said there was no doubt the Afghan forces were heroic and they fought very well and were trying to defend their country, but they were not properly equipped and lacked right weaponry and right elements needed as far as the military training was concerned.
“But, even with a very strong force, if there's continued foreign intervention, and that intervention is left unanswered for years, you're doomed to get into situation like we are in Afghanistan.”
Karzai said the Afghans would continue to suffer until sanctuaries of terrorists existed beyond Afghanistan borders.
About the US airstrike that hit a Doctors without Borders-run hospital in Kunduz, Karzai said he had been against such bombardments from the very beginning.
To a question that the Afghan government is arming militias and local warlords to help stop the Taliban offensive, Karzai said he did not know if there was such a plan. “I haven't heard of it, there was talk about it, but I have not seen any government decisions in this regard.”
About the failure of peace talks, the former president said peace was imperative and so the peace talks. “Those Taliban, who are Afghans, who belong to this country, are requested to come back to Afghanistan and free themselves from foreign use.”
To a question that the Afghan and Pakistani governments had vowed to fight Taliban together, Karzai said it was not happening. “If that was happening, our country and Pakistan itself would be a lot more peaceful.”
When asked if Taliban would really ever agree to something less than completely restoring their own regime, Karzai said they sought an opportunity to be back in their country and live in peace, but they needed guarantees as well.
“They have to be part of the Afghan polity. They are Afghans and they must benefit from all that Afghanistan offers through the Afghan Constitution. They should have responsibilities, privileges as Afghans, and obligations to this country, just like we do, as Afghans.”
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