13 December 2013 (last update 14 December 2013)
“Allies shouldn’t be waging psychological war against each other,” Karzai said while on his four-day trip to New Delhi to meet with Indian officials.
Negotiations over the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) have hit a rough patch since Karzai refused to go along with the recommendation of the Loya Jirga to sign the pact before the end of the year. Instead, he said he would not do so until the April elections, and then, only if the U.S. met certain preconditions.
The U.S. and its allies have been losing patience with Karzai over the accord, which would allow foreign troops to stay in Afghanistan after the 2014 NATO withdraw and would guarantee continued military aid to the Afghan forces. Washington has demanded the agreement be signed before the end of the year.
More pertinently, U.S. officials like Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Secretary of State John Kerry have made public statements warning Karzai and his government of what Afghanistan could be like in just over a year if no foreign troops stick around and the funding flow is cut off.
“if you survey the U.S. and generally the western press in the past three years, there has been a barrage of propaganda with regard to 2014 and the consequences for Afghanistan,” Karzai said on Thursday.
The President maintained that Afghanistan has sacrificed and contributed more to the war against terrorism than any other nations in the world and that these sacrifices can’t be valued in money.
“If we are friends, if we are allies we must be treated as friends and allies; they needn’t portray us in a manner as if we are in such need that if they aren’t here we are neither a nation, nor a country, nor a culture, nor a history, nor a future – that’s not right,” Karzai said.
“We will be here whether the U.S. is here or not, that’s where we are, this is our country; of course, we will be in more trouble, we will be poorer in certain ways, but Afghanistan can continue and will survive.”
President Karzai once again reaffirmed his preconditions – advance peace talks with the Taliban and end raids on Afghan homes – with regard to signing of the BSA and said that the U.S. cannot pressure him into signing the accord.