‘With Friends Like These’ (Part II): President Hamid Karzai Says Afghanistan would Side with Islamabad in U.S.-Pakistan War
Afghan President Hamid Karzai declared that his country would stand with Pakistan if that country ever got into a war with the United States.
According to the Associated Press, Karzai’s remarks were made during an interview with Pakistani television station GEO that aired on Saturday.
“If fighting starts between Pakistan and the U.S., we are beside Pakistan,” Karzai said. “If Pakistan is attacked and the people of Pakistan need Afghanistan’s help, Afghanistan will be there with you.”
Karzai added that no nation, including the United States, would be allowed to dictate Afghan policy.
Karzai’s comments are quite queer considering that he owes his presidency to the Bush administration, which made Afghanistan a client state following a 2001 invasion in response to the September 11 terror attacks that year. The 9/11 attacks, carried out by al-Qaeda militants under the command of the late Osama bin Laden, were planned from Afghanistan, where Taliban Islamic extremists provided safe haven to the terror network.
Besides biting the hand that feeds him, Karzai’s statement seemingly ignores the fact that he himself recognizes that Pakistan-based terrorists have shed much Afghan blood. Just last month, former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani was assassinated in a suicide bombing that Kabul says was planned in the Pakistani city of Quetta, known as a terror hotbed. The Afghan interior minister has accused ISI, the Pakistani intelligence agency, of being involved in the killing.
Shah Gul, a lawmaker from Ghazni province, told the AP that “Pakistan has never been honest with Afghanistan… They make deal with terrorists, and then with the international community … to get $1 billion from the U.S. under the name of the struggle against terrorism.”
Speaking of the U.S., the American Embassy in Kabul wants an explanation for Karzai’s comments.
“This is not about war with each other,” said Gavin Sundwall, an embassy spokesman. “This is about a joint approach to a threat to all three countries: insurgents and terrorists who attack Afghans, Pakistanis and Americans.”
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