US will not abandon Afghanistan after NATO pullout
By Meena Haseeb - Wed Jan 16 2013, 8:59 am
Bismillah Mohammadi said United States will not abandon Afghanistan and will not repeat the mistake of 1989 after Soviet troops were defeated.
He said Washington will continue to support Afgahn security and has vowed to provide modern military equipments including equipments to discover and seize improvised explosive device which are currently used only NATO troops in the country.
According to defense minister Bismillah Mohammadi around 80% of the civilians casualties are as a result of the roadside bomb blasts.
Although the United States and its allies have committed themselves to fund the Afghan economy and security forces for a few years after 2014, a military presence hinges on a bilateral security agreement that includes the contentious issue of immunity from Afghan law for American troops.
The issue of jurisdiction is not negotiable for the U.S., which will not leave any troops in Afghanistan after 2014 if it is not resolved. And if the U.S. does not receive such guarantees to stay on, it is doubtful any of its allies who say they plan to keep troops here in a training and mentoring role will stay either.
Mohammadi said he thought the security agreement with the U.S. will be successfully negotiated within the next eight or nine months.
His comments came one day after Karzai said that a meeting of the nation’s elders should convene to decide on the issue of immunity from local prosecution.