Fri July 25, 2014
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Karzai frowns upon security agreement

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Abdul Zuhoor Qayomi

KABUL: President Hamid Karzai yet again dug his heels on not signing the bilateral co-operation agreement with Obama’s administration, demanding Washington assure peace in the war-ravaged country.
“Afghans fear anarchy and chaos in the aftermath of the U.S.-NATO retreat. Thus, hereafter I will carry on my precondition and defer the security agreement unless the U.S. ensures expedited flow of peace negotiations and reconciliation,” said the president while addressing a news conference on Saturday.
The deadlock on the crucial security agreement began following a consultative jirga’s endorsement after President Karzai articulated his decision to delay the accord, suggesting the pact might not be concluded before presidential elections in April 2014. Ever since President Karzai refused to sign the security deal, insisting for more concessions, the US has been pressing Kabul warning of exercising ‘zero option’ – to pull out all of its troops within a year.
President Karzai said the U.S.and Pakistan are key to peace processin Afghanistan, urging the U.S. and its western allies including Pakistan to sincerely resume peace parleys with the Taliban. “If Washington or Islamabad sincerely work towards reaching a truce and peace agreement with the Taliban rebels, they may succeed. But, none is sincere enough, and as a result Afghans are killed in terrorist attacks or U.S. airstrikes,” asserted the president. “Strengthening mutual ties with the entire world is indispensable for flawless governance, and we want to make sure the country will not slide into chaos after a security deal is signed with the U.S.,” he said.
Foreign forces will be disallowed to independently conduct their military operations in the provinces. The U.S. is creating confusion and uncertainty among Afghans through their propagandas, said Karzai, urging the U.S. to be friends with Afghans rather than their enemy. “We’d prefer the U.S. and NATO withdrawal over insecurity after signing the BSA,” he said. The president said aid cuts by donors is a not big issue. “I’m not concerned over shrinking aid, but rather I’m concerned about how things will go along post-2014,” he said.
The president said the U.S. military bases are themselves a major factor of insecurity. “The U.S. Bagram base itself is a Taliban nest. For over six years, U.S. officials rejected my proposal for closure of Bagram detention center.U.S. forces detain and torture innocent civilians under the pretext of terrorism; this is utterly against the Afghan government and its writ,”said Karzai. President Karzai assured that elections will be held on due time, as security bosses have ensured security of most of the polling centers.

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