MUMBAI - Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Saturday promised to hunt for the Taliban attackers who shot teenage activist Malala Yousafzai for speaking up for girls’ rights to education.

“Afghanistan will hunt for Malala’s attackers,” Karzai said in an interview with India’s CNN-IBN television network, aired as he began a four-day visit to the South Asian nation and as the world marked ‘Malala Day’.

Speaking about Malala, who is recovering at a British hospital, Karzai accused Islamabad of having armed and trained the teenager’s assailants.

“Terrorism is a snake and when you train a snake, you can’t expect it will only go in the neighbour’s house,” he said. “When the attack on Malala happened, this proved our point,” he added.

“The earlier they (the Pakistanis) accept it and fight radicalism, the better for us, the better for Pakistan and the better for India,” Karzai said.

In a veiled reference to Pakistan, President Karzai said he hoped newly re-elected US president Barack Obama would attend to his concerns over civilian casualties and go after sanctuaries of terror across the border.

Karzai said that US does not attack the source of terror. “We believe the war against terror won’t be won by bombing Afghan villages but by finding the sanctuaries of terror and financiers across borders. The US never attacks the source of terror,” he said.

Karzai said he would not stay as president when his term runs out in 2014. “It’s no good for Afghanistan, and no good for me. I’ve done my time, a new president must take over,” he said.

Asked about the world observing international Malala day and his writing to the Pakistani leadership following the attack on the young girl that it was time to jointly fight terrorism, Karzai said Afghanistan has for years hoped for better relations with its neighbour but that has not happened.

“When the attack on Malala happened, this proved our point. Terrorism is a snake and when you train a snake, you can’t expect it will only go to the neighbour’s house. I am waiting to hear back from the Pakistani leadership,” Karzai said.

“If Maulana is in Afghanistan he has come from where? Pakistan? Who trained him? Who resourced him. The earlier they accept it and fight radicalism, the better for us, the better for Pakistan and the better for India,” he added. Karzai said he remembers his years in India’s hill town of Shimla as a period of ‘great memories’. “India gave me an education, and also moral values. I learnt about Gandhi Ji and vegetarianism,” he added.