KABUL : Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai has accused the United States and Pakistan of using the Afghanistan War to further their own national interests, adding that Afghanistan is in “terrible shape” 16 years after the collapse of the Taliban.
He also warned that Afghans who had embraced the U.S. as a friend and liberator now see it as “hurting us, not helping us.” “That has to change,” Karzai said in an interview.
In an interview at his Kabul home, where he wore his signature ankle-length green striped coat and karakul cap, Karzai echoed complaints from Afghanistan’s current government that accused neighboring Pakistan of harboring Taliban militants and urged the U.S. to impose sanctions on Pakistani military and intelligence officials.
Citing U.S. President Donald Trump’s New Year’s Day tweet that accused Pakistan of “lies and deceit,” Karzai said, “We hope the U.S. will now act in Pakistan.”
But he added that “doesn’t mean that the Pakistan people should be hurt or that war should be launched in Pakistan.”
“In other words, I want the U.S. to impose sanctions on the Pakistan military and the intelligence, not on the Pakistani people,” Karzai said.
The interview occurred a day after U.S. lawmakers questioned the direction of America’s longest war. At a hearing Tuesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee noted that Washington is spending about $45 billion a year in Afghanistan, with most of the money going to security, the bulk of which finances U.S. troops and accompanying logistical support. Only $780 million goes toward economic aid. - Agencies