Afghanistan security better before British troops arrival: Karzai
By Mirwais Adeel - 04 Feb 2013, 11:02 am
Afghan president Hamid Karzai who is currently in United Kingdom to attend a tripartite summit with Asif Ali Zardari and British prime minister David Cameron questioned the international troops fight against terrorism in Afghanistan and said security situation in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan was better before British troops were deployed.
Karzai also expressed doubts regarding foreign troops fight in the right part of the country for the past 10 years and questionned whether western forces were pulling out because they had realised the mission was a mistake, or if they believed they had successfully broken up the country’s terrorist groups.
In an interview with the Guardian and ITN before the summit president Karzai said, “They feel fulfilled with regard to the objective of fighting terrorism and weakening al-Qaeda, or they feel that they were fighting in the wrong place in the first place, so they should discontinue doing that and leave.”
President Karzai without blaming international troops for the security problems said Helmand had been more peaceful before the arrival of British and US troops in 2006.
Karzai said Afghans are more concerned regarding reconstruction of Afghanistan which was ruined during three decades of war rather than assuming if the west believed their mission had failed.
He said, “Whatever happened was the past and now we are looking forward.”
In a bid to encourage a peace deal with the militants groups in Afghanistan president Karzai said he is expected to use the summit hosted by Mr Cameron to press Pakistan to release more Taliban prisoners, including a former second in command.
As NATO troops are scheduled to leave Afghanistan next year Britain hopes that closer ties between them will help the search for a settlement with the Taliban.