Pakistan’s deal with Taliban can’t be at Afghanistan’s cost: KarzaiMay 31st, 2008 - 10:06 pm ICT by admin
New Delhi, May 31 (IANS) Afghan President Hamid Karzai has expressed anxiety about Pakistan’s deal with Taliban-led militants and warned that Kabul will “not only be upset but extremely angry” if the agreement compromises his country’s interests. If the agreement with the Taliban in North West Frontier Province that borders Afghanistan impinges on his country’s vital interests, Karzai said he would take it up with the civilian leadership in Pakistan.
“That should not happen. That is certainly something we are concerned about and we hope our brothers in Pakistan will not allow that,” he told Karan Thapar in the Devil’s Advocate programme which will be broadcast on CNN-IBN Sunday night.
“If a thing like that happens, of course we will take it up (with Pakistan). I definitely hope that will not be the case. That will not happen. We must be very careful,” he said when asked whether he was apprehensive that the deal between Pakistan government and Taliban could come at the cost of Afghanistan.
“We cannot, under any circumstances, allow elements that are inimical to this country or that to operate from either country,” Karzai said in his first interview after the recent attempt on his life in Kabul.
“Well, we will not only be upset but extremely angry,” he replied when asked how Kabul would react if the deal came at Afghanistan’s cost.
The Pakistan government and local Taliban militia in the NWFP inked a 15-point agreement May 21 under which the militants will stop suicide attacks in return for the army’s withdrawal from the scenic but restive Swat valley.
“We know what is going on … when something is wrong, we know it and raise our voice to the concerned people,” the Afghan president said when asked whether he had discussed Pakistan’s peace deal with the Taliban with the US.
Karzai, however, said he had no objection to peace deals with those Taliban militants who want to return to a normal life. “But (talks with) the hardcore ones, the extremist Al Qaeda elements or other terrorist networks … that is wrong,” he maintained.
Scathingly critical of reported moves by Pakistan to hold talks with Taliban leader Beitullah Mehsud, a prime accused in the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto last year, Karzai said: “(Talks) with the killers of Benazir Bhutto, whosoever they are, I think it is wrong.”
Lavishing praise on India for its contribution to the reconstruction of Afghanistan and the role of the Himachal University, where he studied, in shaping his character, Karzai, however, made it clear that it was for New Delhi to decide on whether to join international security force in Afghanistan.
India has pledged over $850 million for the reconstruction of violence-torn Afghanistan.
Karzai also repudiated reports suggesting that he was trying to strike a balance in Afghanistan’s relations with India and Pakistan, saying he would not take any step that would bring “more rivalries in the region”.
“We would like to do all for the security of Afghanistan and for an effective war on terror in the region but not do something that will bring more rivalries in the region,” he contended.