In an interview with Al Arabiya, Karzai said serious mistakes were made by the US in Afghanistan but held out hope that ongoing intra-Afghan negotiations with the Taliban brokered by Washington would bring lasting peace.
Karzai told Al Arabiya the US’ “War or Terror” was the basis of the issues Afghanistan has faced in the past two decades.
“Serious mistakes were made by the United States of America. They did not conduct their so-called War on Terror from where it was coming. But they went and began to hurt and bomb the Afghan villages, the Afghan people and began to arrest of Afghan people, that became the foundation of the troubles that we have now and the foundation also of my disagreements with the United States,” Karzai said.
“For the start of talks, the most important thing, the most important element in that agreement is an end to hostilities in Afghanistan and inter-fighting Afghanistan, and the withdrawal of US troops and the return of Afghanistan to intra Afghan dialogue and peace talks. These are fundamental principles to which we agree,” Karzai said.
“The aspirations for Afghanistan are the same, a peaceful Afghanistan, a stable Afghanistan, a United Afghanistan. Now how to function, how to govern, how to move towards that, there may be different interpretations, it is these interpretations of certain values within society, the interpretation of how to move progress,” he stated.
“What is progress is to be discussed, and I’m sure that agreement will come,” he added.
This comes after Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation said on Thursday that peace talks would start this week.
In an online discussion hosted by Washington D.C.-based United States Institute of Peace, Acting Foreign Minister Mohammad Hanif Atmar said, “we will have released by the end of next week over 5,600 of Taliban’s prisoners.”
Already about 5,000 Taliban prisoners have been freed but the last batch is deemed hardcore and is guilty of having masterminded some of the more serious attacks in the country while others are drug kingpins.
Atmar, however, said that most of this issue has been resolved.
“It seems that most of the hurdles have been either removed or we are in the process of building consensus on a solution. I am cautiously optimistic that this will not be a further hurdle on the way,” Atmar said.