India-Pakistan situation has impacted Afghanistan, says Hamid Karzai

We are the best of friends with India, but how do we convey to Pakistan that we can be the best of brothers at the same time, asks the former Afghan President at the Raisina Dialogue

January 16, 2020 02:03 pm | Updated 02:03 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

The unfortunate situation between India and Pakistan had impacted Afghanistan “tremendously”, former Afghan President Hamid Karzai said on Thursday.

“We are the best of friends with India,” Mr. Karzai said adding, “but how do we convey to Pakistan that we can be the best of brothers at the same time.”

Speaking at the ongoing Raisina Dialogue jointly organised by the Ministry of External Affairs and Observer Research Foundation, he said there was no other way for Afghanistan, “we need the peace process to be successful.”

Asked about the troubled relationship with Pakistan, Mr. Karzai said there were two sides to it. “Pakistani people received us as refugees with open arms, we’re grateful for that. On the other hand, we have serious complaints with the Pak. government and military on the issue of terrorism,” he stated adding they too in Afghanistan perhaps made some mistakes in managing the relationship.

Terming Iran and Pakistan the most consequential relationships for Afghanistan, he said, “We cannot have peace in Afghanistan, unless we have the best of relationships in Pakistan.”

On the issue of continued U.S. military presence in Afghanistan, Mr. Karzai said a vast majority of people would agree with a U.S. presence in Afghanistan as long as the “Afghan people are given the legitimacy to live in a dignified way, and politics and institutions in Afghanistan are not interfered with.”

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