Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai on Friday accused Pakistan of offering sanctuary to militants while giving a grim assessment of the situation in his country. He said the NATO forces had failed to provide Afghans with security.
Speaking to the BBC on the tenth anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan and the overthrow of the Taliban, Mr. Karzai said the militants operating from across the border would not be able to “move a finger'' without Pakistani support.
Expressing concern that the Taliban were able to launch brazen attacks with impunity, Mr. Karzai said that “these problems come from abroad'' alluding to Pakistan's role in the insurgency.
Recently, there has been a spurt in Taliban attacks not only on major cities and military targets in Afghanistan but also high-profile Afghan leaders such as the killing of the former President, Burhanuddin Rabbani, who was engaged in peace talks with the Karzai government.
“On the overall policy of Pakistan toward Afghanistan and towards the Taliban, definitely, the Taliban will not be able to move a finger without Pakistani support,” he said adding that the sanctuaries in Pakistan would not go away without the cooperation of Islamabad.
On the continuing insecurity in the country, Mr. Karzai said: “We've done terribly badly in providing security to the Afghan people and this is the greatest shortcoming of our government and of our international partners…What we should do is provide better and a more predictable environment of security to the Afghan citizens and in that the international community and the Afghan government definitely have failed,” he said.
Mr. Karzai said that Rabanni's assassination had been a serious blow to the policy of talking to the Taliban. His government, he said, did not know who to talk to. There was “no address''.
“Find an address, find a location, and we will talk to you,” he said.
Confirming that he would step down from the presidency in 2014, he said he had already started work on finding a successor.
“I feel it is my responsibility to be working on a next president that the Afghans can trust and that they can have faith in, and that he as the president can serve this nation,” he said.