London: Launching another broadside against Pakistan, Afghan President Hamid Karzai today said the Taliban, that has launched some audacious attacks in his country will not be able to ”move a finger without Pakistani support.”
As Afghanistan marked 10 years of the overthrow of the Taliban government today, Karzai said his government and US- led NATO have failed to provide Afghans with security.
Karzai said that it was a “serious shortcoming” that the Taliban were able to launch such spectacular attacks but also added that “these problems come from abroad” and pointed the finger at Pakistan’s role in the Taliban insurgency.
“On the overall policy of Pakistan toward Afghanistan and towards Taliban, definitely, the Taliban will not be able to move a finger without Pakistani support,” Karzai told the BBC.
In recent months Afghanistan has seen a string of brazen assaults on major cities and military targets as well high profile assassinations, such as the killing last month of Afghan peace envoy and former president Burhanuddin Rabbani, allegedly by Taliban-linked Haqqani network, which is based in Pakistan.
Karzai also traced some of Afghanistan’s current insecurity to military strategy in the early years of the war and the failure to tackle the Taliban sheltering in Pakistan’s volatile tribal areas.
“NATO and the US and our neighbours in Pakistan should have concentrated a long time back, in the beginning of 2002- 03, on the (Taliban) sanctuaries,” he said.
In an outburst following the killing of Rabbani, Karzai had accused Pakistan of refusing to support investigation and playing a “double game” on terrorism.
Karzai added that the president and prime minister of Pakistan were eager for good relations with Afghanistan but re-emphasised that Taliban sanctuaries in Pakistan will not go away unless the government there co-operates with the Afghan administration.
Karzai, who has just returned from New Delhi after signing a historic strategic partnership agreement with India, also accused Pakistan of supporting the insurgency, saying sanctuaries there still needed to be tackled.
Pakistani authorities deny any support for the insurgents fighting NATO forces in Afghanistan.
Although he was eager to emphasise achievements in education and health, Karzai admitted that security was his greatest failing.
“We’ve done terribly badly in providing security to the Afghan people and this is the greatest shortcoming of our government and of our international partners,” he said.
Karzai also admitted that the policy of talking to the Taliban had received a serious blow with the assassination of ex-president Rabbani but still added: “Find an address, find a location, and we will talk to you.”
He also vowed to step down in 2014 and said he was working on the succession.
“I feel it is my responsibility to be working on a next president that the Afghans can trust and that they can have faith in, and that he as the president can serve this nation,” he said.