Citing Karzai outbursts, US lawmakers seek Afghan pullout



Washington: Citing Afghan President Hamid Karzai's "outbursts”, three US lawmakers have urged US President Barack Obama to set a flexible timetable for withdrawing US troops from the war-torn country.

Democratic Senator Russ Feingold, Democratic Representative Jim McGovern, and Republican Representative Walter Jones said in a letter to Obama that US efforts should focus more on al Qaeda's global terrorist operations.

"We urge you to set a flexible timetable for removing US troops from Afghanistan and transition to a sustainable counter terrorism strategy for the region," they said in the message yesterday, which Feingold's office made public.

"Such a timetable could be flexible, but it would need to clearly specify any variables that would warrant its alteration," they wrote.

The lawmakers, pointing to a recent war of words between Karzai and his Western backers, warned current US strategy "makes us dependent upon an unreliable partner in the Afghan government, as recent events highlight."

"While we appreciate your efforts to hold President Karzai accountable, his recent outbursts only raise more questions about his willingness to take the necessary steps to address corruption and security on which our current strategy relies," they wrote.

PTI