The Presidential Palace (ARG) on Friday hit back at former president Hamid Karzai over his recent remarks on the U.S airstrikes against the Taliban hideouts in the country, and said air raids on the militants are carried out in close coordination between the Afghan government and U.S officials.
The development comes only a day after Karzai blasted government for giving what he called a broader role to the U.S forces in Afghanistan to conduct airstrikes on the Taliban, calling the move a further erosion of the country’s sovereignty.
In an interview with Reuters, Karzai also called on the Taliban to be more realistic in its demands that have contributed to stalled peace talks.
He said: “How could the U.S president authorize troops to go and on their own launch attacks in Afghanistan, don’t we have a government here? Aren’t we a sovereign country? Don’t we own this country? Is the U.S president in charge of Afghanistan or are we in charge of this country? That charge must retain to Afghans then I am sure things will move in right direction, that charge is not now with Afghans, It isn’t.”
“The Afghan government has its own control on all operations, the operations are conducted at the demand of the Afghan government. These operations are carried out against the terrorist groups who target civilians. Therefore these operations are carried out within the frame of the security agreement and with complete coordination,” said deputy presidential spokesman Shahhussain Murtazawi.
Meanwhile, a number of analysts and former government officials accused Karzai of backing the Taliban.
“He wants to portray a national-oriented face of himself, the second issue is that Karzai from the beginning was supporting the Taliban and wanted to exploit the Taliban as a group or army or corpse in order to keep a balance against the resistant movements and the Mujahedeen, therefore when Karzai initially took power, he continued his support to the Taliban till the end and supported them under the peace process, even he supported the Taliban around Kabul,” Ahmad Wali Massoud, head of Massoud Foundation and a former officials under Karzai’s government.
“Mr. Karzai talks against the sacrifices and efforts of the Afghan security forces. He talks by staying in the line of the Taliban and the militants. With the timeline of the political agreement on the establishment of national untiy government comes closers, Karzai seeks to take concessions from the Americans,” political analyst Asif Ashna said.
Meanwhile, the Defense Ministry spoke of the effectiveness of the airstrikes in eliminating militants on the battlefields.
“In a complicated geography, the U.S forces have coordinated with us in complete consensus and harmony, the cooperation has helped us to suppress the enemy in the geography of Afghanistan,” said a defense ministry deputy spokesman Mohammad Radmanish.