July 28, 2014

Afghanistan moves towards brighter future: Karzai

By Sadaf Shinwari - Tue Nov 27, 3:33 pm

Afghanistan has a brighter future ahead of it despite NATO ending its combat operations there in 2014, President Hamid Karzai said Tuesday while arguing his country had made “significant progress in the past 10 years”.

“There are different analyses about Afghanistan’s fate after 2014, and what we find from these analyses is that our country is heading towards speedy development and a brighter future,” Karzai said while inaugurating an industrial exhibition in Kabul.

President Karzai on Tuesday also called on national and international investors to invest in the conflict-ridden country.

“Any country, any company and anyone is welcomed if invest in Afghanistan to help take this country towards more progress,” President Karzai said in conference here to encourage investment in Afghanistan.

He also said that China has already began investment in Afghanistan and the government would also welcome Iran, Pakistan and India if do so.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai hinted Tuesday that his government would be flexible in negotiating “sensitive” issues in a new security pact with the United States.

Karzai did not spell out what issues he was referring to, but one of the most sensitive questions involves immunity from local prosecution for U.S. troops remaining in Afghanistan after NATO forces withdraw in 2014.

Washington recalled all its troops from Iraq after Baghdad refused to grant U.S. soldiers immunity, and Karzai has in the past warned there could be similar problems in Afghanistan.

But in a speech to industrialists and businessmen in Kabul, the president suggested that a deal would be reached.

“With the Americans we will make a deal in which neither the skewer burns nor the kebab,” he said, referring to an Afghan proverb on a settlement which benefits both parties equally.

“Where they are sensitive, we shouldn’t touch too much, but we should consider our interests 100 percent,” he said.

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