News / Asia

Lawmakers Say Karzai Threatened to Join Taliban

Afghan lawmakers say President Hamid Karzai used a closed meeting to lash out at Western critics of his government, saying the Taliban would become a "legitimate resistance movement" if outside meddling in Afghan affairs continued.

The lawmakers say Mr. Karzai also suggested that he might join the Taliban if outside pressure does not stop.

According to several members of the Afghan parliament, Mr. Karzai made the comments during a private meeting with a group of lawmakers Saturday.

In an interview with BBC television Monday, Mr. Karzai said he stands by remarks last week blaming international embassies and organizations for fraud in the August 20 presidential elections.

The White House called Mr. Karzai's remarks "troubling", but said a planned meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and Mr. Karzai next month in Washington is still scheduled.

In violence Monday, NATO forces killed 10 militants in a joint U.S.-Afghan raid in eastern Nangarhar province near the Pakistani border.

In the increasingly violent north, gunmen seriously wounded a provincial councilwoman and her driver in Pul-e-Khumri.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the shooting.  But officials said they suspect the Taliban, which opposes education for girls and women's participation in public affairs.

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

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