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Afghans not in same mood as 6 yrs ago: Karzai

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said war on terror should be focused on the Afghan-Pak border and not soldiers entering villages.

Written by Agencies | Washington | Published: February 16, 2009 12:17 pm

As Obama Administration prepares to send more troops to Afghanistan,the Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said war on terror should be focused on the Afghan-Pak border and not soldiers entering villages.

Warning that people in Afghanistan today are not in the same mood as they were six years ago when US forces entered the country to remove the Talibans,Karzai said under the changed circumstances Washington should consult Kabul on the fresh deployment.

It has to be ensured that sending additional troops to Afghanistan has an objective agreeable to the people of the country,he said in an interview to CNN.

“What should have happened early on didn’t,unfortunately,happen,” Karzai said when asked about dispatch of more US troops to Afghanistan. “Now,the country is not in the same mood as it was in 2002,” he observed.

“So,any addition of troops must have a purposeful objective that Afghan people would agree with,that any addition of troops should effectively curb terrorism and terrorists crossing into the Afghan side,and that the Afghan people should feel secure,” he said.

Karzai,who in recent months has taken a strong stand on civilian casualties in Afghanistan has,according to media reports not a good relationship with the Obama Administration.

Observing that the war on terrorism is not in the Afghan villages,Karzai said: “Any addition of troops,if agreed upon between the Afghan government and the US government,must be in order to defeat terrorism and to protect Afghans,and not cause them casualties.”

Terming this as a serious matter,he said the US government should discuss this with his Government and evaluate it. “And then,upon agreement,we will decide about it,” he said.

Karzai is now sending his Foreign Minister to be part of the review of Afghan policy being undertaken by the Obama Administration. This was agreed upon at the request of Karzai,in a letter to President Obama.

He said the war on terrorism should be focused on the Afghan-Pak border and not by the soldiers entering the villages.

“If there is a deployment,in consultation with the Afghan government,it should be in places where the fight against terrorism gets us a result,where terrorists are,where we see better security — not in our villages.

Definitely not in our villages,” Karzai said.

During the interview,Karzai suggesting that,because of political disagreements he had with top US and European diplomats,and that he objected to US policy,some elements within the US government,perhaps within the US Embassy or in Washington,have been spreading rumours.

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