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Karzai calls for strengthening Afghan forces

Karzai calls for strengthening Afghan forces

May 19, 2012 - 20:58

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): On the eve of NATOinfo-icon’s summit in Chicago, slated for May 20-21, President Hamid Karzai on Saturday renewed his call for training, equipping and strengthening Afghan security forces.

During an interview with Germany TV channels, the president thanked the international community for assisting his impoverished country’s educationinfo-icon, economic, infrastructure, power and other sectors.

In interviewsinfo-icon with RTL and ZDF channels, he said: "Our demand from the Chicago summit is clear: Achievements of the past decade be preserved and further solidified.”

In a statement from the Presidential Palace in Kabul, Karzai reiterated the need for ensuring the security of innocent Afghans during the anti-terrorism campaign.

Equipping and training Afghan forces needed less funds than the expenses incurred on NATO-led International Security Assistance Force troops stationed in the country.

On the completion of transition in 2014, he suggested, ISAFinfo-icon nations could divert part of the funds they were spending on their military missions in Afghanistaninfo-icon to training and equipping Afghan security personnel.

In response to a question, he said: "We welcome the Talibaninfo-icon who have not harmed the Afghans and are ready to join the peace process. But those who kills innocent people, torch schools and commit other crimes should apologise to the people before joining the drive."

Optimistic that Pakistaninfo-icon would help the ongoing peace process, Karzai acknowledged the neighbouring country had already taken some steps in this regard. He hoped Pakistan would do more to help stabilise Afghanistan.

On the margin of the two-day summit, which is expected to set the course for NATO’s future engagement in Afghanistan, Karzai will meet Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari on bilateral issues, especially peace and security in the region.





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