KABUL: The ex-President Hamid Karzai has said that he is hopeful about the recent operations by Pakistan against terrorists, but there are no signs of change in Pakistan’s policy towards insurgents.
The BBC Pashto Service on Wednesday quoted the ex-President Karzai, as saying that the situation would go better if Pakistan stop using terrorism as a tool of foreign policy. He said Pakistan’s political leadership wants to bring stability in the region but they don’t have the capability to do so.
In regard to a change in Pakistan’s policy towards militants following school carnage in Peshawar, Karzai said: “I hope this change to happen. I hoped so several years back. I thought that this change happens after militants’ attacks on mosques and civilians, but this did not occur.” He added: “Now I hope this change to take place after the attack on school in Peshawar. Pakistan should stop using terrorism as a tool of foreign policy. Everything will be okay if this happen.”
In reply to a query about Kabul-Islamabad relations during his tenure, the ex-President said Pakistan wanted the ties that were not acceptable by Afghanistan. “Pakistan wanted Afghanistan to limit its foreign policy and freedom, and Pakistani security agencies wanted Afghanistan as a feeble country and the one that nods to every order by them, but we didn’t want this and we were against all the demands by Pakistan,” Karzai said.
According to the BBC, Karzai during his interview criticized Pakistan several times, and said his message to Islamabad is that it should not use terrorism as a tool for weakening a tribe or generation. “Pakistan should put aside this policy,” he added.
“I tried a lot to strengthen ties with Pakistan. We want relations with Pakistan based on equality. Security will not improve in Afghanistan sans joint efforts of the two countries,” Karzai said. “War on terror is going on in wrong address. This war should not be followed in Afghanistan. I have told this to US officials several times.”
According to Karzai, in a letter to Islamabad, he has asked the Pakistani government to target terrorists’ nests in military operation on North Waziristan. Karzai has also asked Islamabad through the letter to not target civilians in Waziristan.
“Bombardment on a bazaar in Miranshah is not war on terror. We know that operation in Waziristan is not operation against terrorists. We want operations that target terrorists’ safe havens, not civilians’ houses,” Karzai concluded.