KABUL: Former Afghan president, Hamid Karzai has said that foreign forces created hostilities among Afghans and Pakistan used Taliban for maintaining its influence in Afghanistan.
“I realized early into my tenure as president that this war is not our conflict, and we Afghans are just being used against each other – the republic against the Taliban and the Taliban against us. Karzai said during an interview with Germany’s weekly news magazine Der Spiegel.
“Both the Afghan Republic and the Taliban are victims of these external forces. That is why we are suffering,” he said.
About the contest of world powers that kept the Taliban engaged, Karzai said: “When things started to go wrong in Afghanistan – around 2005, 2006, when the extremist terrorist attacks started – we talked to the U.S. about the different causes of the violence. We knew that these attacks were being organized by intelligence in Pakistan and carried out by the Taliban.”
“The U.S. confirmed this independently, telling us: Yes, the violence is coming from Pakistan, and yes, the Taliban’s sanctuaries are there. But instead of investigating the root cause of the violence and going after it, Washington started to fund Pakistan’s military,” he said.
Karzai said that Pakistan wanted to influence Afghanistan strategically using the Taliban, adding that the matter tied to the history of the British colonial authority in the region.
Asked why Pakistan should give up its fight now, Karzai said: “The Pakistani offensive is in full swing right now. There is fighting going on. But Pakistan must know that it cannot win by force.
“They may kill us. They may send us bombs, they may send us extremists, but that does not kill our spirit. Dominating Afghanistan from the outside has never worked. It didn’t work for the British, it didn’t work for the Soviets, and it didn’t work for the United States, even with all of its resources,” he added.
“This is my advice: let the Taliban return. Let them take part in and demonstrate themselves in public, in elections or referendums as is common worldwide, whether at the Loya Jirga, the traditional popular representation. Only then will it become clear who truly represents the people,” he said.
“My appeal to Afghans, including the Taliban, is that we come together and finally take our fate into our own hands against all foreign powers,” he concluded.