Rein in Pakistan military and intelligence, Hamid Karzai asks US

Rein in Pakistan military and intelligence, Hamid Karzai asks US

KABUL - Afghanistan has seen a sharp increase in violence after U.S. President Donald Trump’s statement on New Year’s day criticising Pakistan, the former Afghanistan President, Hamid Karzai, has said.

He called for pressure on “Pakistan’s military and intelligence” after the latest bombing in Kabul on Saturday in which more than 100 people were killed.

“We have only seen a statement from President Trump, which is an affirmation of our stand for the past 15 years [on involvement of Pakistan based groups]. Now, they have to take action, which means stopping the Pakistani military and intelligence from doing what they are doing,” Mr. Karzai told *The Hindu *here, drawing a link between three attacks in a week.

Next move

Taliban terrorists laid siege to the Kabul Hotel Intercontinental on January 21. An international children’s NGO in Jalalabad was attacked by suspected an IS-affiliated group on January 23. The spate of attacks has led to a greater focus on the next move of the U.S.

After a tweet by President Trump on January 1 accusing Pakistan of “lies and deceit” and giving a “safe haven” to terrorists and deciding to freeze military aid to the country, the U.S. government promised further action if it did not act against Taliban-affiliated groups. The U.S. carried out a drone strike along the Afghan-Pakistan border on January 24, killing three militants of the Haqqani group.

However, Mr. Karzai said drone strikes would not serve as an answer, as they would be “counter-productive”.

“If the U.S. is genuine about addressing the issue, they should address it in the Pakistan military and intelligence, bring pressure on them, and together with the rest of the region, raise a voice against the Pakistani establishment … the way forward is not to hurt the civilians of Pakistan, but to nip this in the bud, which is the Pakistani establishment,” Mr. Karzai said.