Karzai shocker: "We will stand with Pakistan against the U.S

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PostSun Oct 23, 2011 6:24 am » by Malogg


Karzai shocker: "We will stand with Pakistan against the U.S

Enigmatic Afghan President Hamid Karzai has vowed that Afghanistan will stand with Pakistan should it be attacked by the United States. While his remarks may help relations between Kabul and Islamabad, Karzai's promise to Pakistan is annoying Pentagon officials on Saturday.

"God forbid if anytime war erupts between Pakistan and the United States, we will stand by Pakistan," Karzai told Pakistani Geo television in an interview, parts of which were aired Saturday evening. The full interview, conducted at the Presidential Palace in Kabul, will be telecast later this weekend.

"If Pakistan is attacked and if the people of Pakistan need Afghanistan's help, Afghanistan would be there with you," Mr Karzai told the Pakistani news anchorman.

"We are your brother as Pakistan has given us shelter [during the 1997-89 occupation of Afghanistan by former Soviet Union], as Pakistan considered us brother and gave homes and we spent time in Pakistan with respect as refugees," he said.

Karzai has made several surprising or even bizarre comments in the past, but never threatened to fight U.S. forces amid sharply increased tension between Pakistan and the United States after top American military officials threatened unilateral military action against Pakistan-based insurgent groups such as the Haqqani network.

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During her trip to the region, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the United States has no plan to launch a military offensive in Pakistan but rather she urged Islamabad to act within "days and weeks" to "squeeze" the Haqqani network and other armed factions that launch cross-border attacks into Afghanistan.

President Karzai also dispelled the impression that Afghanistan and India signed the strategic partnership agreement in view of the bad relations of his country with Pakistan after last month's assassination of Afghan peace envoy Professor Burhanuddin Rabbani.

Karzai said the tensions between the United States and Pakistan had not had an impact on Kabul's attitude towards Islamabad. "You know that we have had this engagement with Pakistan for a long time and if it comes to a brother-to-brother relationship, you'll find that Afghanistan will be there with you in times of difficulty," he said.

The Afghan president, however, said there was "pain" in Afghanistan over Pakistan's dealing with his country. "Please, brother, stop using all methods that hurt us and are now hurting you. Let's engage from a different platform, a platform in which the two brothers only progress towards a better future in peace and harmony. And Afghanistan will be with you," he said.

Karzai said his country's policies towards Pakistan would not be dictated by any country, including the United States and India, adding, "Afghanistan has its own policy, its own stand, its own clear view of things and from that point of view, it's dealing with our brothers in Pakistan."



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