Karzai calls on the Taliban to be free from foreign influence

Karzai sbKABUL: The former Afghan President Hamid Karzai has called on Taliban group in Afghanistan to be free from the foreign influence, particularly pointing towards the Pakistani intelligence and military.

In an interview with Reuters, Karzai appealed to the Taliban “as fellow Afghans to recognise that this is their country” and to break free of the influence of Pakistan, which despite frequent denials, is blamed by Afghanistan for supporting the insurgency.

“I would call on the Taliban to be free from foreign influence – in this case Pakistan, the Pakistan intelligence and military,” Karzai said.

The former Afghan President further added added that they had to be more realistic in their demands to make peace talks possible.

“When they say that foreign forces must leave first and then we will talk, then I tell them that if they keep waiting for that, a lot of Afghan blood will be shed,” he said.

The remarks by Karzai came as the Afghan officials have long been criticizing Pakistan for supporting the Afghan militant groups, including the Taliban and the notorious Haqqani terrorist network.

According to the Afghan officials, the leadership councils of both the groups are based in Quetta and Peshawar cities of Pakistan from where they plan and coordinate attacks in Afghanistan.

THE PASHTUN TIMES

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