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Karzai blasts US for supporting both parties to conflict

In an interview published on Sunday, he claimed: “It (US) was dropping bombs on Afghan villages to fight the Taliban, while at the same time, funding the very country accused of organising Taliban terror campaigns.”

Speaking to Der Spiegel, he recalled former US president Donald Trump’s statement that America had paid Pakistan $35 billion over the past 19 years.

He went on to ask: “This contradictory policy cost thousands of Afghan lives – troops and civilians alike. Tell me, how was Afghanistan supposed to come to peace?”

He said the US had confirmed the violence in Afghanistan had roots in Pakistan, where the Taliban enjoyed sanctuaries.

But instead of investigating the root cause of the violence and going after it, the ex-president argued, the US started funding Pakistan’s military.

Karzai commented: “Either the US has really miscalculated strategically, or Pakistan … is simply more important than we are for Washington achieving its global goals.”

Pakistan sought to exert strategic influence in Afghanistan through the Taliban, though the Afghans desired strong relations with their neighbour, he added.

Kabul-Islamabad relations would improve in case of peace and stability in Afghanistan and an end to the trust deficit between the two sides, he explained.

With regard to the Durand Line dispute, he said: “We want an open exchange between people on both sides, without border controls and with freedom of movement, similar to what Europeans have achieved today between Germany and France.”

Pakistan would not succeed in suppressing the Afghans by promoting terrorism and extremism in their homeland. Similar policies of the British, the Soviets and the Americans had failed to work, he said.

In response to a query, he said the Afghans were being used against each other by external forces.

“Both the Afghan Republic and the Taliban are victims of these external forces. That is why we are suffering,” he maintained.