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Pakistan killing pro-talks Taliban leaders: Karzai
 
 
 
Pakistan killing pro-talks Taliban leaders: Karzai

Kabul - Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Saturday criticised Pakistan and US for not doing enough towards the Afghan peace process.
In his final address to Afghanistan's parliament, Karzai said both Islamabad and Washington can effectively help the Afghan peace process; however the Taliban group leaders are having safe lives in Pakistan.
He also criticised the assassination of the Taliban group leaders who are looking to sit in for peace talks with the Afghan government.
Karzai said the people of Pakistan are suffering from the same terrorism which has been created and supported by certain elements inside the government of Pakistan.
He suggested that either the terrorism safe havens should be eliminated or those who are supporting terrorism should no more receive funds in a bid to effectively fight the terrorism.
Karzai said Pakistan is keen to create a stooge political system in Afghanistan since the invasion of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, however Karzai said this ambition of Pakistan will never turn into reality as Afghanistan has never surrendered to world powers.
Karzai once again insisted for establishment of peace in Afghanistan before he signs the bilateral security agreement with Washington that would allow US troops to remain in Afghanistan beyond 2014.
He reiterated his stance that he would not sign a pact with the United States.
Karzai told the United States its soldiers can leave at the end of the year because his military, which already protects 93 percent of the country, was ready to take over entirely.
The Afghan president has come under heavy pressure to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement, with a council of notables that he himself convened recommend that he sign the pact. The force would train and mentor Afghan troops, and some US Special Forces would also be left behind to hunt down Al-Qaeda.
All 10 candidates seeking the presidency in April 5 elections have said they would sign the security agreement. But Karzai himself does not appear to want his legacy to include a commitment to a longer foreign troop presence in his country.
Karzai was brought to power in the wake of the 2001 US-led invasion and subsequently won two presidential elections - in 2004 and again in 2009. But he has in recent years espoused a combatative nationalism, with his hour-long speech Saturday no exception.
"I want to say to all those foreign countries who maybe out of habit or because they want to interfere, that they should not interfere," he said.
Karzai said the war in Afghanistan was "imposed" on his nation, presumably by the 2001 invasion, and told the United States it could bring peace to Afghanistan if it went after terrorist sanctuaries and countries that supported terrorism, a reference to Pakistan.
Karzai told parliament, which was holding its opening session for this term, that security forces were strong enough to defend Afghanistan without the help of international troops.
In his speech, Karzai again urged Taliban insurgents to join the peace process, while accusing Pakistan of protecting the Taliban leadership. He suggested that Pakistan was behind the killing earlier this year of a Taliban leader who supported the peace process. No one has taken responsibility for the attack.
Throughout his speech Karzai spoke of his accomplishments over the last 12 years, saying schools were functioning, rights were being given to women, energy projects were coming online and the Afghan currency had been stabilised. Karzai said that when he first took power his country was isolated and nothing was functioning.
"I know the future president will protect these gains and priorities and will do the best for peace in the country and I, as an Afghan citizen, will support peace and will cooperate."
Afghanistan's current parliament plans to tackle a number of key issues, including a controversial law on the elimination of violence against women.
Meanwhile the Taliban released two Afghan army personnel, captured during last month's deadly raids on two military check points, the Ministry of Defence said in a statement Saturday.
The men were freed after elders in the region interceded on their behalf and the military agreed to hand over to the Taliban the bodies of their colleagues left behind on the battlefield.
The attacks on Feb 23 left 21 Afghan army personnel dead. Several insurgents were also killed.

 
 
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