Pak `twin brother`, India `great friend`: Karzai

Visiting Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai on Wednesday said that his government will no longer hold peace talks with the Taliban and asked Pakistan to do more on its commitment to rein in terror.

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: In a message aimed at Islamabad, Afghan President Hamid Karzai Wednesday said the strategic partnership pact signed with India was not directed at any other country and will not upset relations with Pakistan.

"The signing of strategic partnership is not directed against any nation or group of nations," said Karzai in a lecture here on India-Afghanistan ties. The event was chaired by External Affairs Minister SM Krishna.

"The idea behind the strategic partnership is to benefit from the strength of India, so that it can train our police, doctors and students."

Karzai also said that neither India nor Afghanistan intended that the strategic partnership agreement go beyond the two nations.

"Pakistan is a twin brother. India is a great friend. This agreement will not affect our relations with our brother," Karzai said when asked whether the pact with New Delhi will affect relations with Islamabad.
Visiting Afghanistan President stated that his government will no longer hold peace talks with the Taliban and asked Pakistan to do more on its commitment to rein in terror.

The Afghan leader said that the recent killing of former president Burhanuddin Rabbani - seen as a messenger of peace - had forced his government to abandon efforts seeking reconciliation with the Taliban.

“In the aftermath of Burhanuddin Rabbani’s assassination, we have decided that there will be no talks with the Taliban.”

Karzai, while acknowledging the efforts taken by the international community towards improving the situation in Afghanistan, said, “Extremism and terrorism still continue, which have made the situation grave.”
Karzai stressed that his government has now decided to continue negotiations with Pakistan as the neighbouring state, not the Taliban needs to be the other party in the peace talks.

Rabbani was negotiating with the Taliban but was killed by a suicide bomber purporting to be a Taliban peace emissary. Karzai has been pushing for years to reconcile with the Taliban.

He says that effort is no longer viable following Rabbani’s killing. Rabbani was leading Karzai’s effort to broker peace with the Taliban.

On Tuesday, both India and Afghanistan signed a Strategic Partnership agreement aimed at enhancing cooperation between the two states.

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