‘Karzai says Pak can never achieve dream of setting up puppet govt. after US leaves Afghanistan’

Islamabad, Feb 20: Afghan Prsident Hamid Karzai feels Pakistan wants to set up a puppet government after the US leaves Afghanistan, a senior Pakistani official has said.

The official aware of last week’s meeting between Karzai and the Pakistani civil and military leadership, said Karzai believed that Islamabad was playing a “wait and see game” on Afghanistan.

“He (Karzai) thinks we are not forthcoming on the peace talks with the Taliban. He believes we are waiting to see the Americans leave the region before we play our cards,” The Express Tribune quoted the official, as saying.

The official also said Karzai suspected that the Pakistan’s security establishment would want to install a government of its ‘own choice’ in Kabul like it did during the ‘80s.

“If this is your ambition then forget about it. Let me tell you that neither would the Americans leave this region nor would you be able to manipulate the situation as you did in the past,” the official quoted Karzai as having said.

However, the official rejected the Afghan president’s assessment, saying Islamabad does not harbour any ‘hidden agenda’ for Afghanistan.

“Karzai’s remarks reflect his own failure and frustration to succeed and lead his country to peace and prosperity,” he added.

Earlier, in the meeting in Islamabad, Karzai had bluntly demanded that Pakistan produce Taliban leaders to negotiate with him.

A source said that the Pakistani side was shocked by the Afghan leader's aggression.

Karzai has long demanded that Pakistan bring the leadership of the Taliban to the negotiating table, including its chief, Mullah Mohammad Omar.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar described the discussions with the Afghan delegation as "hard" and "serious", and clarified that Islamabad was unaware of Mullah Omar's whereabouts.

"We don't have Mullah Omar to bring. That's the crazy perception about Pakistan. It's ridiculous," she added.
Copyright Asian News International/DailyIndia.com