Afghanistan’s former President Hamid Karzai slams US military freedom, defends Afghan sovereignty

September 15, 2016 5:30 pm

’s former President (Photo by AFP)

Afghanistan’s former President Hamid Karzai has censured new authorities for giving the US military greater freedom in the fight against Taliban, saying the attitude could dent Afghan sovereignty.
Karzai made the remarks in an interview on Thursday, expressing objection to the policies of the administration of current President Ashraf Ghani regarding the US military activities.
“How could the US president authorize US troops to launch attacks on their own in Afghanistan?” Karzai said, referring to unsupervised airstrikes by the US military on civilians and militants in Afghanistan. “Don’t we have a government here? Aren’t we a sovereign country?”
The former Afghan president also called on Taliban to be more realistic in demands that have hampered progress in peace talks.
Afghanistan has been gripped by insecurity since the US and its allies invaded the country as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror in 2001. Many parts of the country still remain plagued by militancy despite the presence of foreign troops.
Taliban have regrouped since the death of former leader, Mullah Akhtar Mansour, earlier in the year and are reported to be currently in control of some areas in Afghanistan.
In October last year, US President Barack Obama announced plans to keep 9,800 US troops in Afghanistan through 2016 and 5,500 in 2017, reneging on his promise to end the war there and bring home most American forces from the Asian country before he leaves office.
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) says it recorded 1,601 civilian deaths and 3,565 injuries in Afghanistan in the first six months of 2016.
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