News / Asia

Karzai Stands Firm on Terms of US Presence

Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during a news conference in Kabul, Jan. 25, 2014.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during a news conference in Kabul, Jan. 25, 2014.
Ayaz Gul
President Hamid Karzai says if the United States wants to leave Afghanistan it “can do it even today, may God be with them”, but he will not back down from his conditions to sign a key security pact with Washington that would allow American forces to stay in the country beyond 2014.  
 
The NATO-led combat military mission is ending in December and Washington needs the so-called bilateral security agreement (BSA) to be in place as soon as possible so a smaller American military presence in Afghanistan can continue counter-terrorism activities as well as advise and assist Afghan security forces. 
 
A traditional national assembly of Afghan elders and politicians also endorsed the security pact late last year. But President Hamid Karzai has since refused to sign the deal until the U.S. military ends raids against Afghan homes while chasing insurgents and helps Kabul in opening peace talks with the Taliban. 
 
Speaking to reporters in Kabul Saturday, the Afghan leader reiterated his demands.  “Until we are satisfied, he said, that the BSA will bringing positive results, signing the document will mean bringing repression to the country, its soil and the people,” he stated.
 
President Karzai said that "Afghanistan will never be ready to sign anything under pressure," adding that “no pressure, no threats and no psychological war against our people will force them to sign the BSA”. 
 
President Karzai also denounced the use of advertising, some paid for by the United States, advocating the BSA be signed. 
 
The United States has warned that it will be forced to end its military mission and cut financial assistance to Afghanistan without the BSA in place. President Karzai in his news conference again dismissed those warnings. 
 
The Afghan leader says that “if they (U.S. forces) are leaving, then Allah Hafiz to them [May God Be with them] and they can leave even today”. As far as Afghans are concerned, he added, they will survive. 
 
President Karzai openly questioned motives for the U.S. counter-terrorism mission in Afghanistan. 
 
He said that if the United States wants to ally with Afghanistan, "they must explain their [anti-terrorism] policy and tell us who are they chasing, what do they want, and what is their target?” 
 
President Karzai added that U.S. officials have told him there are only up to 40 al-Qaida operatives left in Afghanistan that they want to eliminate. So, only for such a small number they have caused so much unrest, the Afghan leader asked. He claimed the Afghan forces can easily deal with them and capture them. 
 
He went on to harshly criticize a detention facility on the U.S.-run Bagram air field north of Kabul, condemning it as a “Taliban-producing factory” where he alleged that Afghans are tortured into hating their country.  
 
Karzai’s critical remarks came as President Barack Obama is preparing to make his State of the Union address on Tuesday. During a recent trip to Kabul, a group of key American senators had warned that in the absence of any progress on the BSA, the U.S. president will not be able to allocate future funds and forces for the Afghan mission. 
 
 
 

You May Like

Video Obama to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, President says US will take leadership role for a global response to deadly Ebola virus that is ravaging West Africa More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid