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Karzai renews stance on security pact with US

Karzai renews stance on security pact with US

May 30, 2013 - 16:34

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): President Hamid Karzai on Thursday said he would not ink Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with the United States if peace in Afghanistaninfo-icon was not ensured.

Addressing Community Development Councils (CDCs) in Kabul, Karzai believed signing the pact would be meaningless as long as peace eluded the country and government institutions were not strengthened.

Concluding the accord with the US was in Afghanistan’s interest, believed the president, who stressed: “First and foremost, peace and national unity should be ensured in Afghanistan.”

Once the Afghan government was strengthened, he said, they would sign agreements with the US and NATOinfo-icon. “Having links with them is in our interest, but stability in Afghanistan has to be guaranteed.”

Although his government was under mounting domestic pressure through media outlets for the early signing of BSA, Karzai promised his administration would move cautiously on the issue.

The government would explore all possible ways of pursuing the reconciliation process, but some foreigners were trying to use the campaign for their own advantage, he said, adding some realities had recently emerged in this regard.

Without giving details, Karzai warned his administration would expose those realities if the foreigners did not act in accordance with the Afghan government’s demands with regard to the peace effort.

Karzai once again called on the Talibaninfo-icon to halt the war against the development of their country and asked them to be support Afghan security personnel in defending their motherland.

The Taliban to be as intelligent as Pakistani religious scholars, he remarked, referring to rightwing Jamiat Ulemainfo-icon-i-Islam leader Maulana Fazlur Rahman’s statement that Pakistaninfo-icon was home to Muslims and Christians.  

Next year’s presidential and provincial council elections would be conducted on schedule, he promised, suggesting national consensus on two or three presidential candidates.

Poll contenders must consider all Afghans sons of the soil, exercise restraint, respect media freedom and resist foreign pressures, the president stressed.

The withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan in 2014 would be a welcome development, he remarked, regretting the rise in casualties among national forces.

The ongoing war was not against foreigners; instead it was in their interest, he said, asking the insurgents why they were conducting attacks in the areas where foreign troops were no longer stationed.

Launched in 2003, the Worldinfo-icon Bank-supported National Solidarity Programme (NSP) was a roaring success, bringing about a significant improvement during the past 10 years, the president said.



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