Karzai to mujahideen: Denounce both US, Russia Air strikes
KABUL (Pajhwok): Former president Hamid Karzai on Friday called on jihadi leaders to condemn civilian killings in US airstrikes just like they denounced Soviet bombardment of non-combatants.
Speaking at a gathering on the fifth death anniversary of ex-president Burhanuddin Rabbani in Kabul, Karzai recalled his offer of the High Peace Council (HPC) chairmanship to the Jamiat-i-Islami leader.
In reply, the former president said, Rabbani accepted the offer on condition that he would lay down his life for the sake of peace in the conflict-devastated country.
“I’m following the same path that Rabbani had chosen for himself. I don’t care even if I’m taunted and disrespected while pursuing the goal of peace,” he declared after some Jamiat-i-Islami members shouted “death to Karzai”.
When he would call Hezb-i-Islami members his brothers in the past, Karzai said he was subjected to criticism. Ultimately, he argued, the government had signed a peace deal with the Gulbadin Hekmatyar-led party.
“You were extremely offended when I called the Taliban my brothers. In near future, peace will be made with the Taliban as well,” he predicted, saying he was slammed again when he adopted a harsh attitude toward the insurgent movement.
He asked the people to shun intolerance and sentimentalism. The ex-president urged the nation to think about the future and steer the country toward peace.
Foreigners were still meddling in Afghanistan’s internal affairs, fuelling differences among the Afghans at a time when the nation needed unity more than ever before.
“Some people call us, those living in Kabul, servants of America. Then others brand the Taliban as Pakistan’s lackeys. We are in the thick of internal rifts, killing each other,” Karzai commented.
About civilian deaths in US airstrikes, he said 14 people of a family were killed in Kunar and more recently 18 civilians martyred in the Achin district of Nangarhar. “The mujahideen should denounce the US raids, in which civilians are killed.”
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