AFGHANISTAN, March 18, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM) — People in Afghanistan have staged protests to voice their opposition to plans for permanent US bases in their country, Iranian Television PRESS TV reported on Friday.
The US has held talks with Afghan President Karzai to set up permanent military bases in Afghanistan amid widespread public opposition and protests against the move.
The first round of the talks ended in Kabul this week with no major breakthrough, a Press TV correspondent reported.
The talks have stirred fierce debates in the Afghan media ever since Karzai confirmed the reports last month.
The Afghan government says that the US has to first guarantee that these bases would not be used to attack neighboring countries.
“We told the Americans that Afghanistan needs to have a good relationship with its neighbors. We don’t want our territory to pose any threat to our neighbors and the region,” a government spokesman stated.
Civilian casualties often caused by air strikes and night raids, have deepened the popular opposition to the US-led occupation. Local people strongly are opposed the idea of permanent US bases in the country.
Afghans believe that the presence of the US-led forces in their country is further escalating the unrest.
“There is no doubt that despite the presence of foreign troops, peace and stability are still missing in this country. I think it is because of the lack of coordination and the lack of a realistic strategy,” political analyst Zabiullah Quaraishi told Press TV.
The US claims its permanent military bases would greatly help Afghanistan fight against the Taliban and al-Qaeda. But ten years on into the war, the vast swaths of the country are still home to militants.
Many Afghan people blame the US for leading a double standard policy. They say on one hand, the US talks about the withdrawal of its forces, but on the other, it wants to establish permanent bases in this war torn country. (*)