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US forces won’t quit Afghanistan, believes Karzai

US forces won’t quit Afghanistan, believes Karzai

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Jan 12, 2019 - 12:01

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Ex-president Hamid Karzai believes the Trump administration would not withdraw its troops from Afghanistaninfo-icon

The United States sought access to military bases in Afghanistan for strategic purposes, Karzai said in an interview with India Today.

"In a way it will help Afghanistan because we want to rely on our own forces and defend our country ourselves,” the former president commented.

He opined the US forces would not exit the country if they had to surrender the bases they had access to in Afghanistan.

"We are a strategically located country. Definitely, one of the main reasons for the US presence in our country is the strategic location," he said.

While hailing the appointment of Zalmay Khalilzad as US special representative for Afghan Reconciliation, he said the diplomat knew both countries and the region.

Karzai stressed revival of the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARCinfo-icon), whose summit was cancelled in 2016 as a result of India’s refusal to attend.

"SAARC has to be revived. Both India and Pakistaninfo-icon should work towards the revival of SAARC and we must reconvene. I don't have a deadline for it. But it should be held."

When reminded that Islamabad continued to use terrorism as an instrument of state policy, Karzai hoped for a change in the vision of the new Pakistani government.

He was of the view Prime Minister Imran Khan would play an important role in allowing transit, trade and political openness. That's the vision I hope he has…”

PANinfo-icon Monitor/mud

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