Afghanistan will not be a repeat of Iraq, says Karzai

Afghan president says the al Qaeda group no longer has a presence in Afghanistan.

Afp June 18, 2014
Karzia says the al Qaeda group no longer has a presence in Afghanistan. PHOTO: AFP

KABUL: Afghan President Hamid Karzai has dismissed suggestions that his country could descend into the same chaos as Iraq when US led troops pull out and leave the national police and army to impose security.

Both countries have been at the center of US wars, and are plagued by insurgencies fighting against local security forces trained by the American military.

The seizure of several major cities by rebels has taken the Iraqi government by surprise and alarmed the international community, leading to fears that Afghanistan could one day face the same fate.

"Never, not all," Karzai told the BBC when asked whether what was happening in Iraq could happen in Afghanistan.

In an interview released on Wednesday, he said the al Qaeda group no longer had a presence in Afghanistan.

Karzai will soon step down, ending his rule, which began in 2001 when a US led invasion ousted the Taliban regime for sheltering al Qaeda leaders behind the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington.

The NATO combat mission in Afghanistan will end in December after 13 years of fighting the Taliban insurgency.

The next president will be under pressure to open talks to bring peace, and Karzai said he was in daily communication with the Taliban.

"There is even an exchange of letters, meetings, and desire for peace," he said.

Both candidates to succeed Karzai have vowed to sign an agreement to keep some US troops in the country after this year in contrast to a similar deal that broke down in Iraq, leading to a complete US troop withdrawal.

But Washington recently said only 10,000 US troops would remain next year and all would be pulled out by the end of 2016.


Pir Roshan | 7 years ago | Reply

@csman, why TTP only. Why not all of them, good & bad Taliban be eliminated together. Starting with Muredkay LeT, Lej,, Quetta Umer Taliban, Peshawar Shora & Haqanis at the core. No more hypocrisy but prove to the word & people of PKP & FATA that these operations are not merely whitewash but a real change in our policies to bring long lasting peace to the region. Karzai in this interview with BBC is very clear about the war on terror in Afghanistan & Iraq. The West did't fight this war with sincerity but only to create de-stabilization. Which is what suits our establishment at the expense of commoner like me living in this region.

cmann | 7 years ago | Reply

All the more reason for Afghanistan to work closely with Pakistan armed forces in the fight against TTP and other terror groups.It is going to be now or never.They need to be sandwiched between the two sides and eliminated.TTP should lay down their arms as the army has suggested and set up areas for that.Or face annhilation.

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