Karzai says Pak role in Afghan peace process critical; Does not accept Durand Line as border

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KABUL : Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai on Thursday said the holding of a Loya Jirga was critical and that it was extremely important for Afghanistan to project a united front. He said this was in order for people to come together to resolve the crisis the country is facing.

 

He said a Loya Jirga should be held as soon as possible

and must include all stakeholders from politicians, to

tribal elders, civil society activists, through to

members of the public.

 

In addition he said he was against the US’s new war

strategy, which he said did not carry a message of

peace. Karzai stated he also sent a letter to the

Taliban asking them to join the peace talks process.

 

According to him, he told the Taliban that all their war

was doing was killing the people and destroying their

homes.

 

He also called on the country to stand together in order

to work towards strong cooperation and friendship with

all foreign parties including the US, other countries

and neighboring states.

 

Karzai said that when he was president he was opposed to

the war, a stance that still stands today. He said

during his presidency he visited Pakistan over 20 times

and told them Afghanistan only wanted good relations

with Islamabad.

 

Karzai said Pakistan’s role in the peace process was

critical and without this, peace will be impossible in

both Afghanistan and Pakistan. He went on to say that

Pakistan has not been honest in its dealings with

Afghanistan over the years and at times comes across as

being an ally of the US and at other times as an ally of

Afghanistan.

 

He said both the US and Pakistan have done exactly what

they want in Afghanistan. “I hope that Pakistan knows

today that it cannot force Afghanistan to reach their

goals,” he said.

 

“We know we have a historical problem with Pakistan,” he

added but went on to say “we still want good relations

with Pakistan and we want very good relationships with

other neighboring countries.” He however said  he would

not accept the Durand Line as the official border

between the two countries.

 

He also labeled Daesh and al-Qaeda as terrorists and

condemned the Taliban for their actions in terms of

killing civilians.

 

He also condemned US airstrikes but emphasized the need

to sit and talk peace with the Taliban. However, he

noted that he did not want the US to withdraw from the

country but that “their presence must benefit

Afghanistan”.

 

Karzai said he only wanted success for the national

unity government saying it was in fact his “legacy”.

Originally published by INP