Taliban Playing into Outsiders’ Hands: Karzai
KABUL – President Hamid Karzai on Thursday accused the Taliban of playing into the hands of outsiders and contradicting their own slogans regarding respect for Afghanistan’s sovereignty and civilian lives. “Whenever we take a significant step toward shielding the country’s sovereignty and self-reliance, the Taliban commit such an act as paves the ground for more violence and fuels the conflict,” the president said in his weekly radio address.
Yesterday’s bloodshed in the western province of Farah, where more than 50 people were killed and 100 others wounded in a bomb-gun attack on a courthouse, had amply proved that the insurgents were acting at the behest of foreigners. Referring to the recent turnover of the Bagram detention centre from the US military to his administration, the president said a large number of innocent Afghans, including the Taliban, were freed soon after the jail transfer.
“The Taliban have brought the tragedy to Farah City in an attempt to create pessimism among the people about the release of detained militants,” he argued, calling the arrest of ordinary citizens in the name of insurgents a big reason behind violence. His government was doing its bit to release innocent inmates, minimise the civilian casualties, prevent nighttime operations and protect the nation’s honour, the president maintained. But the militants were impeding such efforts to please their foreign masters, he alleged, without naming any country.
He told the Afghan Taliban to ask their leaders as to whose interests were served by Kabul, Khost and Farah suicide attacks. “Are they aimed to keep innocent people in detention and block the Bagram jail transfer?” Addressing the Taliban, he said: “If your leaders have no answers to these questions, please come back to your homeland and work shoulder to shoulder with your brothers for rebuilding the country…”
Karzai said he had sent a high-level delegation to probe the bloody assault in Farah from all angles and help the victims’ families. He prayed for lasting peace and an end to the conflict in Afghanistan. He again called on the Taliban to lay down their guns, stop promoting the interests of outsiders and the killing of Afghans. (PAN)