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Afghans against permanent US bases

Afghan President Hamid Karzai

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. (*)
 
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Posted by on March 18, 2011 in World News

 

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Hamid Karzai to NATO: ‘Your Fight Is Not in Afghanistan’

Afghan President Hamid Karzai

AFGHANISTAN, March 13, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM) — Afghan President Hamid Karzai says international troops should leave Afghanistan and take their fight against terrorism across the border into Pakistan.

As reported by VOA News on Sunday, Mr. Karzai delivered his latest criticism of NATO efforts Saturday in Asadabad, capital of eastern Kunar province, where he was visiting relatives of civilians killed in a raid by international forces.

The Afghan leader said his government has shown NATO that the terrorists and militants are not in Afghanistan, but instead are hiding in neighboring Pakistan.

The French news agency quoted Mr. Karzai as saying that Afghans are a tolerant people, but by now , “Our tolerance has run out.”

The topic of civilian casualties has been a sensitive one for Afghanistan and its Western allies.

Earlier this month, NATO’s top commander in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus, apologized for an airstrike that killed nine children in Kunar province – the result of miscommunication, according to the coalition. Mr. Karzai has warned that NATO could face “huge problems” if the accidental killing of civilians does not stop.

A joint report this week by the U.N. mission in Afghanistan and the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission says there were nearly 3,000 war-related civilian deaths in 2010 – an increase of 15 percent over 2009’s toll. The study concluded that insurgents and militants were responsible for about 75 percent of those deaths.

Meanwhile, NATO said two of its troops died Saturday, one in eastern Afghanistan and another in southern Afghanistan. NATO has a policy of not releasing names and nationalities of members of the force.  (*)

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2011 in World News

 

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Afghan President Hamid Karzai seeks end to NATO operations

Afghan President Hamid Karzai

 

 

AFGHANISTAN, March 13, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM) — Afghan President Hamid Karzai says US-led forces must stop operations in his country amid growing discontent between Kabul and Washington over civilian causalities, Iranian Television PRESS TV reported on Saturday.

Karzai made the remarks in the city of Asadabad where a recent NATO attack left over 70 civilians dead.

“I would like to ask NATO and the US with honor and humbleness and not with arrogance to stop their operations in our land,” Karzai said on Saturday.

“We are very tolerant people but now our tolerance has run out,” Karzai added.

The remarks also come days after nine children were killed in a NATO helicopter raid while they were collecting firewood in the eastern province of Kunar.

NATO says the children were mistaken for militants.

President Karzai condemned the killings and US President Barack Obama apologized for the incident.

Afghanistan has also rejected the United States’ apology for the death of nine children in a NATO airstrike. Karzai said expressing regret is not sufficient for the killing of the young boys.

His comments also come as US-led forces have recently shot and killed a relative of President Karzai in an attack on his house in Kandahar Province’s Dand district in southern Afghanistan.

US Special Forces arrived in helicopter in Karz village and stormed the house of Haji Yar Mohammad Khan on Wednesday night, Press TV has learned.

Moreover, foreign forces have killed two civilians in the eastern province of Nangarhar.

The victims worked for a private company which provides services to Afghan and foreign forces. Eyewitnesses say they were killed in their homes in the city of Jalalabad.

Civilian casualties from US-led operations are a major source of tension between the Afghan government and foreign troops. More than 2,400 civilians are estimated to have been killed in 2010 by both foreign forces and militants.

Insecurity is on the rise across the country despite the presence of over 150,000 US-led forces there.  (*)

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2011 in World News

 

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PM David Cameron welcomes Afghan President to Number 10

British Prime Minister David Cameron (R) speaks to the media during a joint press conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai at 10 Downing Street on March 1, 2011 in London, England. The Afghan President met with the British Prime Minister in London to discuss the future of Afghanistan as the UK government looks to fulfil its desire to remove combat troops by 2015. (Photo by Ben Stansall - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

March 2, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM) — British Prime Minister David Cameron has welcomed Afghan President Hamid Karzai to Number 10 and said Britain continues to have a “strong relationship” with Afghanistan.

Speaking in a press conference with Mr Karzai, the PM said he remained “cautiously optimistic” about progress in Afghanistan and insisted the growing Afghan forces were increasingly successful and would begin to take a lead on security from this year.

“Real progress is being made every single day with our support. The Afghan government is taking greater responsibility for its own affairs.

“The build-up of the Afghan National Army is on target, it is now over 150,000 strong, the Afghan police has grown to over 117,000.

“And, while there are real challenges remaining, they are both increasingly successful national security forces.”

The Prime Minister stressed Britain was an “all-weather friend to Afghanistan not a fair-weather friend” and would remain involved in the country after troops are withdrawn in 2015.

Mr Cameron also said 2011 was a decisive year and called for “reconciliation and reintegration” for insurgents prepared to renounce violence and cut ties to Al Qaeda.

“It is time for the Taliban to start this journey and make this year the decisive year for peace in Afghanistan”.

President Karzai paid tribute to the sacrifices British troops have made while serving in Afghanistan and said he hoped Afghanistan will be a future partner rather than a burden.

During the press conference, Mr Cameron also took questions on the latest situation in Libya.

The PM said that the Libyan people must not be left to their fate. He said that the UK was making contact with opposition groups who have occupied Benghazi and parts of eastern Libya.

He added that Britain would step up its efforts to “isolate and pressurise” the Gaddafi regime and prevent it from using military hardware against its own people.   (*)

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2011 in World News

 

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Photostream : British Prime Minister David Cameron meets Afghan President Hamid Karzai

President Hamid Karzai, right, is met by British Prime Minister David Cameron as he arrives for a meeting at 10 Downing Street in London, Tuesday, March 1, 2011. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

British Prime Minister David Cameron (R) shakes hands with Afghan President Hamid Karzai at 10 Downing Street in central London, on March 1, 2011. Afghan President Hamid Karzai was to hold talks with British Prime Minister David Cameron on Tuesday before opening a major London exhibition of artefacts from his country. Karzai, who arrived in London late Monday for a two-day visit, is expected to discuss issues including the planned transition of security responsibility from international troops to their Afghan counterparts in 2014. (Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

British Prime Minister David Cameron (R) and Afghan President Hamid Karzai attend a joint press conference at 10 Downing Street in central London, on March 1, 2011. Afghan President Hamid Karzai was to hold talks with British Prime Minister David Cameron on Tuesday before opening a major London exhibition of artefacts from his country. Karzai, who arrived in London late Monday for a two-day visit, is expected to discuss issues including the planned transition of security responsibility from international troops to their Afghan counterparts in 2014. (Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

Afghan President Hamid Karzai, left, leaves 10 Downing Street in London after a meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron, Tuesday, March 1, 2011. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2011 in World News

 

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