‘Pakistan suffering more than Afghanistan’

Published: November 16, 2010
Afghan president calls for reduced military footprint, cessation of night raids by US forces

Afghan president calls for reduced military footprint, cessation of night raids by US forces

WASHINGTON: After criticising Pakistan’s anti-militant performance for years, Afghan President Hamid Karzai says he now sympathises with Pakistan, in an interview with The Washington Post. “For the initial years, I was highly critical of Pakistan and their lack of action on the [militant] sanctuaries [in Pakistan]. Now, I see Pakistan suffering more than we are in lots of ways, especially in the consequences of the violence [caused by] these sanctuaries and the militancy,” he said.

Karzai also expressed his disapproval of drone attacks conducted by the United States in Pakistan. “I don’t like guns or airplanes, so I can never talk in favourable terms about planes that are shooting people or bombing people,” said the president.

Also, he underscored Pakistan’s role in bringing lasting peace to Afghanistan, which, he claimed, “won’t come unless we address the question of sanctuaries and unless Afghanistan and Pakistan are on the best of terms as friends and neighbours and brothers, with America present with us and among us.”

Karzai voiced hope that Afghanistan, the United States and Pakistan would “do all that we can together to address the problem” of militant sanctuaries. “On the one hand, I sympathise with them and want to be closer to them and work together to address it. On the other hand, I’d like to ask them to do more on the sanctuaries and for the United States to pay closer attention to this problem,” Karzai added.

He expressed his deep scepticism of American policy in Afghanistan. “The time has come to reduce the presence of boots in Afghanistan . . . to reduce the intrusiveness into the daily Afghan life,” said Karzai, while suggesting that “the United States must reduce the visibility and intensity of its military operations and end the increased US Special Operations forces’ night raids that aggravate Afghans and could exacerbate the Taliban insurgency.”

Published in The Express Tribune, November 16th, 2010.

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Reader Comments (3)

  • attaullah
    Nov 16, 2010 - 10:08AM

    should creat trust beyween afghan pakistan and US some solution need ground realty

    afghan and pakistan join together honestly sure they can 80%bring peace in reign.Recommend

  • attaullah
    Nov 16, 2010 - 11:00AM

    afghanistan and pakistan people they are very very close and both country have joint futures .

    need good leader to bring the nations friendly.now this two country people ca;nt afoard wait and see policy. if we are muslim we should not disturb any one in the earth.time is going very fast.please come and bring strongly stabilty in reign.the people who are cofused should people
    reject for ever.Recommend

  • Zeenat Bukhari
    Nov 16, 2010 - 11:58AM

    Karzai the puppet Afghan President with a brother that allegedly dabbles in poppy seeds has the audacity to sympathizes with Pakistan?
    How very quaint, Mr Karzai people in glass houses should not play with stones, after the billions the US has spent in trying to prop up your country and the thousands of men and women that have been killed or maimed to try to prop up your country and at the same time they have to deal with the ungrateful masses that have been brainwashed to believe that the militant sanctuaries are a figment of our imagination and that Blackwater Security is responsible for the violence that scars every Pakistani city.
    With friends like Karzai who needs enemies?Recommend

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