Karzai hopes Pakistan’s Sharif will engage positively with Kabul

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The former president Hamid Karzai expressed hopes that the new government in Pakistan pursue good relations with Afghanistan.

The former Afghan president who was in power from 2001 to 2014, made the remarks in an interview with the BBC’s Yalda Hakim.

“I can tell you that when I was in office the last year of my office, I had excellent relationship with Mia Nawaz Sharif, the then Prime Minister of Pakistan, who I found to be very willing to engage very fruitfully with Afghanistan. I hope that Mr. Shahbaz Sharif, the current Prime Minister of Pakistan—his brother—would follow the same path,” he said. “And would find that the Afghan people would respond to them very very positively. We do wish good relationship with Pakistan. Stable relationship, stabilize relationship with Pakistan.”

When asked about the recent airstrikes carried out by the Pakistani forces on Kunar and Khost provinces, Karzai said that such attacks are clear violations of Afghan sovereignty.

“That was a clear violation of Afghanistan’s sovereignty– of Afghanistan’s territorial integrity and the killing of Afghan women and children, which again the Afghan people condemned and protest against,” he said.

Karzai once again emphasized the need to reopen schools for girls above grade six.

He called the recently deadly attacks on educational institutions in PD 18 of Kabul an “attack against Afghanistan’s efforts for educating its young.”

“No, it isn’t. it isn’t ethnic. Daesh has claimed the responsibly for such attacks in the past few years. This is clearly an attack against Afghanistan peace and movement towards stability and progress. This is clearly an attack against Afghanistan’s efforts for educating its young,” Karzai said.

He also gave advice to the nation of Ukraine, saying it should be “wiser” to not fall into the big games of world powers. The Islamic Emirate did not offer a comment on Karzai’s remarks but said efforts are underway to bring reforms to the caretaker government.

“In general, the Islamic Emirate is attempting to form a government but the views of citizens are considered,” said Bilal Karimi, deputy spokesman for the Islamic Emirate. After the fall of the former government, many political leaders left the country, but Karzai and Abdullah remained in Afghanistan.

“A general amnesty has been announced in Afghanistan, but these restrictions exist and an environment of trust—this is really needed,” said Toreq Farhadi, a political analyst.

When the Islamic Emirate swept into power, its supreme leader, Mawlawi Hebatullah Akhundzada, announced a general amnesty to the officials and employees including the former military of the previous government.—Tolonews

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