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Extremism product of US-Pakistan cooperation: Hamid Karzai

AT Monitoring Desk-NEW DELHI: Former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai minced no words as he said that it was up to the United States of America to explain the rise of Daesh and extremism as it was a result of its relationship with Pakistan.

“Some of Afghanistan’s problems are foreign. Extremism is the product of US-Pakistan cooperation and Afghanistan has to face implications. The US must explain,” Karzai said. He was speaking at the Raisina Dialogue in the national capital on Thursday.

He also said that extremism was used against the former Soviet Union and there was a time when the United States was using Afghans to fight the Soviet Union.

Speaking of his time as President, he said that terror sanctuaries in Pakistan and extremism were a daily talk in his government. One of the reasons, he added, for him to deny bilateral agreement to the US was their neglect in this regard.

The former Afghan President said that it is after a long time that he finds himself agreeing with US’s view. “It is because of the truth that Donald Trump’s tweet portrayed. We know and the US also knew all along about terror sanctuaries in Pakistan and terrorism being used as an instrument of state policy. Now that the US has admitted terror sanctuaries exist, I hope they will act,” he said, adding that he was not for war or military but for all other means that would make Pakistan accountable.

Karzai also backed the ‘new’ Russia-Pakistan relationship as against the US-Pakistan relationship saying that “there were 90% more US weapons in Pakistan than Russia’s weapons”.

“Let’s correct that 90% first before we move on to the other part. Russia is new as compared to US. The CIA is closer to ISIS than Russia is. Nor is the Russian military close to Pakistan military as the US military is,” he said.

Interestingly, the Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov had, on Wednesday, said that his country would continue to support Pakistan’s counterinsurgency and counter terrorism efforts. Both countries have increased their defence cooperation over time, including reported infantry exercises by around 300 Russian troops in north of Pakistan.

Karzai further highlighted an incident where former US Vice president Joe Biden told him that “Pakistan was 50 times more important to us than you, Afghanistan”. “That is the relationship we should focus on. Trump’s tweet is welcome but he must walk the talk,” the former Afghanistan President added.

Commenting on China backing Pakistan, he said the Asian giant was “as concerned about extremism as we are. We must ask our Chinese neighbours to bring equal pressure on Pakistan in this regard”. On Balochistan, the former President said that he endorsed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s views on the same. “Baloch needs to be given rights and I stand by it. I did endorse PM Modi’s statement on Balochistan.”

He further went on to say that the West had a wrong image about his country. “Afghanistan is not how Western press portrays. They treat us as savages. I don’t believe in Western indices. We are a deeply cultured society which the West does not talk about that much,” he said.

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