Accessibility links

Karzai: Afghanistan, Pakistan Must Work Together


Afghan President Hamid Karzai has told more than 600 Afghan and Pakistani tribal leaders they must cooperate against Taleban and al Qaida fighters.

At the opening of a four-day peace conference in Kabul, Mr. Karzai said terrorism could be eliminated within days if Pakistan and Afghanistan work together.

In the past, Mr. Karzai and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf have accused each other of not doing enough to end insurgent violence along their shared border.

Mr. Musharraf abruptly canceled his scheduled appearance before the tribal council, citing domestic issues. Attending in his place was Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, who said Afghan groups still have not reconciled and the country cannot blame others for its troubles.

In Washington, President Bush addressed the presence of extremist fighters in Pakistan, saying he is confident U.S. officials can work with their Pakistani counterparts to bring top al-Qaida leaders to justice.

President Musharraf has criticized recent statements from U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama, who says he would support direct, unilateral attacks against al-Qaida militants in Pakistan if elected next year.

The meeting of tribal leaders in Kabul is aimed at improving border security by curbing pro-Taleban militants in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Delegates say the jirga is going better than expected, despite some setbacks.

Mr. Karzai said Afghanistan is still suffering, despite some progress against militants. The president said violence kills Afghans daily and threatens children as they walk to school.

During Thursday's opening session, President Karzai also discussed the South Korean hostage crisis in Afghanistan, saying the abductions of women have no place in Afghan tradition or history. Most of the 21 South Koreans in captivity are women.

Pakistan and Afghanistan agreed to the tribal council at the urging of President Bush during talks last year.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

XS
SM
MD
LG