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Terrorism from outside main challenge: Karzai

Terrorism from outside main challenge: Karzai

Nov 21, 2014 - 15:22

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Former president Hamid Karzai on Friday said terrorism perpetrated and supported from "outside" was the main challenge for Afghanistaninfo-icon, asking New Delhi "to do more" in defence cooperation with Kabul.

Speaking at HT Leadership Summit in New Delhi, Karzai also criticised dualism in American policy towards Pakistaninfo-icon, saying he had told Barack Obama that US should not run with the hare and hunt with the hound. He said India and China should join hands to fight extremism in the region.

The former president rued that he had made 20 trips to Pakistan but was unable to succeed completely in improving ties with that country.

About his earlier comment on asking a house owner to catch a thief and leaving the door open for the thief while describing US policy on Pakistan, Karzai said it was a Persian proverb and there was a similar meaning English proverb of "running with the hare and hunting with the hound". "That is what I believed they did and that is what they should not be doing," he said.

Asked if he had conveyed the same to the US, Karzai said he had told American President Obama during a video conference and the response he got was "silence". "We moved to other subjects," he quipped.

Karzai said US should have gone after the terror sanctuaries in Pakistan. Thanking India for the continued support to his country, Karzai said, "we need India to do more as to engage in bringing stronger capacity to the Afghan forces, Afghan military". He said India is well suited to train Afghan officers and civil services.

"India is also industrially, in terms of production of military equipment, well placed to fulfill Afghanistan's need and India now has the ability to do that," he said. 

Stressing that it has been Afghanistan's desire, rather than demand, he had placed it before the Indian government repeatedly.

"They did come forward with some assistance but then India, like any other old civilization would be, is quite a cautious country. I hope it will overtime give rise to a more proactive policy," he said.

Asked if Indian boots soldiers should have been deployed in Afghanistan, Karzai said, "We don't need Indian boots on ground. As a matter of fact we don't need any boots".

He said that New Delhi responded very well by providing thousands of scholarships and this has been a very satisfactory relationship.

The former president said India has been a "valid partner" in nation building. "I thank Prime Minister Modi for his commitment" to Afghanistan's future, he said.

Karzai, who met with Modi yesterday, said the Afghan people count on India as a "true friend, strategic ally and a great anchor of stability and prosperity".

He underlined that it is extremely important for India and China to join hands in fighting extremism and terrorism as both are suffering from it as is the region.

"My great advocacy in this trip is that India and China (should) join hands to fight extremism and work towards peace and stability in the region," he said.

He said security and prosperity in Afghanistan depends primarily on the region becoming free from radicalism and terrorism.

"All our vision partners, specially India, China and Russia mist work together to define and deal with the forces that drive radicalization and terrorism in this region and we must address the sources from which such forces terrorism draws their sustenance".

He said the region has already seen that the "use of terrorism as a foreign policy has boomeranged and caused severe consequences to security and for all of us". 

PANinfo-icon Monitor/ma

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