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Karzai turns up heat on Trump Afghan strategy

AT-KABUL: Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai has argued that the United States strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia has been counterproductive which has also caused an escalation of violence.

In an interview with China’s CGTN television channel, Karzai also cast shadows on the prospects of withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan, saying that the U.S. military presence could perpetuate for a long time.

“I don’t believe that the U.S. will ever leave Afghanistan soon. They may downsize their military presence, but will never abandon their bases,” he said. , “This calls for a collective endeavor of all regional states to ante up”. Karzai underscored the importance of the role China, Russia and India can play in peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region, a quest that would also need ‘sincere cooperation’ from the neighboring Pakistan and Iran.

Karzai said the Afghan government had the responsibility of securing peace, but involvement of foreigners is indispensable since the ongoing war in Afghanistan has regional and international dimensions.

“Peace cannot be achieved only through indigenous reconciliation efforts by Afghan people; because certain foreign elements seek a prolongation of the Afghan conflict to serve their own cause and whims.”

This comes as the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in his unannounced visit to Kabul last week called the US strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia as effective and successful. This is while some officials in the White House have told media that President Trump is not so contended with the strategy and may rethink it.

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