Afghan President Hamid Karzai has accused the Taliban and U.S. of working together to convince Afghan citizens that the violence in their country will get worse if foreign troops leave. The comments come in the wake of two suicide bombings over the weekend that killed 19 people. Karzai said that the attacks were perpetrated by the Taliban to show that international peacekeepers will still be required after their current mission ends in 2014.
"The explosions in Kabul and Khost yesterday showed that they are at the service of America and at the service of this phrase: 2014. They are trying to frighten us into thinking that if the foreigners are not in Afghanistan, we would be facing these sorts of incidents," Karzai said. He went on: "Yesterday's explosions, which the Taliban claimed, show that in reality they are saying they want the presence of foreigners in Afghanistan.”
The top American commander in Afghanistan rejected the president’s claims as "categorically false," reports The Huffington Post. U.S. and NATO forces commander Gen. Joseph Dunford said Karzai had never mentioned his views to him. "We have fought too hard over the past 12 years, we have shed too much blood over the last 12 years, to ever think that violence or instability would be to our advantage," Dunford said. The general acknowledged that it was understandable that tensions would arise as the mission approaches its end.
Karzai has made incendiary comments in his public speeches in the past. He has openly threatened to join the Taliban and called his NATO allies occupiers who want to plunder Afghanistan's resources.
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U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is making his first visit to Afghanistan since becoming the Pentagon chief. He was scheduled to meet with Karzai, but a joint news conference they had planned to attend together was canceled. The official reason for the cancellation was security concerns and it is believed that the two men still plan to meet privately.
Source: (The Huffington Post)