Karzai wants change in Afghan war strategy

Kabul: President Hamid Karzai said on Sunday Washington's war strategy for Afghanistan needed a rethink, as a Taliban-led insurgency gathers pace and foreign forces casualties surge.

Karzai made the comments to the visiting Norbert Lammert, president of the German parliament, the Afghan president's office said in a statement.

"Speaking about Afghanistan and regional security (Karzai) said that the strategy of the war on terrorism must be reassessed," the statement said.

"The experience over the past eight years showed that fighting (Taliban) in Afghan villages has been ineffective and is not achieving anything but killing civilians."

Rethinking counter-insurgency strategies in Afghanistan was the war-torn country's most pressing need, Karzai said.

"This has become a serious need in the current situation," he was quoted saying.

Earlier in the week, the Western-backed Karzai told American officials that Washington and its NATO allies must shift their military focus to insurgent hideouts on the Pakistani side of the border.

Speaking to US congressmen on Thursday Karzai said the US-led military campaign against Islamist insurgents in Afghanistan had not made progress, blaming the shortcomings on Washington's handling of post-Taliban Afghanistan.