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NATO caused Afghans a lot of suffering: Karzai

President Hamid Karzai

Source : Presstv / 8 Oct 2013

President Hamid Karzai has condemned the NATO forces for causing "a lot of suffering" to the people of Afghanistan and failing to bring stability to the war-torn country.

Karzai made the remarks in an interview with the state-funded BBC which was aired on Monday.

"On the security front the entire NATO exercise was one that caused Afghanistan a lot of suffering, a lot of loss of life, and no gains because the country is not secure," he said.

Karzai criticized the US-led mission in the country, saying it focused the fight on Afghan villages rather than on Taliban strongholds across the border in Pakistan.

The outgoing president also suggested that he might not sign a security pact with Washington on how many American troops will stay in the country after NATO-led troops wind down their military operation in Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

"If the agreement doesn't suit us then of course they can leave. The agreement has to suit Afghanistan's interests and purposes. If it doesn't suit us and if it doesn't suit them then naturally we will go separate ways," Karzai pointed out.

On Sunday, the Afghan president strongly condemned a recent fatal airstrike by the US forces in Afghanistan, warning that he would not sign the bilateral security pact unless its troops stop targeting residential areas. “

President Hamid Karzai strongly condemned the NATO air strike in which he says five civilians, including three students aged 10, 14 and 16, were killed in eastern Nangarhar Province on Friday (October 4) night,” The Afghan presidential office said in a statement.

The airstrike was carried out near the city of Jalalabad, the capital of the eastern Province of Nangarhar. In the statement, Karzai also accused Americans of violating Afghanistan's sovereignty by attacking civilians.

Afghan lawmakers also reacted to the deadly attack and called on the Afghan government to take serious action against the US airstrikes. President Karzai has repeatedly questioned the legality of the attacks. He has on numerous occasions called on the United States to stop the nighttime strikes.

Washington claims the attacks only target members of the Taliban militant group. However, reports on the ground show that many of the victims have been Afghan civilians. According to the United Nations, the US-operated drone strikes pose a growing challenge to the international rule of law.

The US and its allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001 as part of the so-called war on terror. The offensive removed the Taliban from power, but the country is still gripped by insecurity. 


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