Taliban lauds Karzai for not inking US security pact

    By IANS,

    Kabul : The Taliban militants Tuesday praised President Hamid Karzai for delaying and not inking security pact with the US, a Taliban statement said.

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    “The obvious conditional opposition shown by the head of Kabul administration Karzai to inking the security agreement indicates that he has realised the demand of the Afghans, who are resisting invading forces. The Afghans never accept invading forces in their land,” Xinhua quoted the statement as saying.

    The Taliban also described the presence of foreign forces in Afghanistan as the main reason for the crisis in the country, and called for the total withdrawal of the US and allied forces from the country.

    The Taliban militants have been fighting the Afghan government and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO)-led forces in the country to regain power.

    The Afghans at a four-day Loya Jirga or grand assembly of the elders, which was attended by 2,500 people across the country and concluded Nov 27, endorsed the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with Washington and urged President Karzai to ink it within a month.

    However, Karzai said the agreement would not be signed until the presidential election on Apr 5, 2014, and unless the US brings security to Afghanistan, ensures holding of transparent elections, and supports the peace process with the Taliban militants.

    Washington hopes Kabul will ink the agreement by the end of 2013 and warned that not signing the pact would affect the US and allied support to Afghanistan.

    Earlier, another dissident leader Gulbudin Hekmatyar, whose supporters have been fighting the Afghan government and the NATO-led forces in Afghanistan, also praised Karzai for not concluding the security pact with the US and requested Karzai to reject it utterly.