Need new U.S. policy on Afghanistan, Karzai suggests Trump

| Updated: Jan 20, 2017 23:34 IST

New Delhi [India], Jan. 20 (ANI): As Donald Trump assumes power tonight as the 45th president of the United States, former Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai has suggested that the new administration should take a deep look at the Afghan policy and rectify the mistakes committed during the past 15 years. Karzai said, "Obviously some things have gone wrong during this period. That is why we have not been able to defeat Taliban and other extremist forces despite our best efforts which yielded good results initially." In conversation with Indian Minister of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar as part of the second edition of the Raisina Dialogue here, Karzai suggested that the U.S. should sit together along with Russia, China and India to work out an effectively new policy. The former president said that Trump's willingness to cooperate with Russia to fight extremists and terrorists would help fight terror more effectively in the region. He added that U.S. ally Pakistan was itself responsible for the failure of Washington's Afghan policy, as it, through the ISI, encouraged and assisted regrouping of Taliban activists, who had gone back and settled in villages after losing power. He alleged that Pakistan used religion to motivate the Taliban activists and supporters, as it had been doing in India and other neighbouring countries. If the US had put stringent conditions for providing aid, it would have deterred the Pakistan leadership and army from assisting the Taliban, he noted, adding that "there needs to be change in the US policy, if it needs to succeed." "Fundamental change in America is required," said Karzai, adding he was not against the BSA (Bilateral Security Agreement) with the US, but had only demanded that some conditions should be added to it. He asserted that the U.S.' Afghan policy will not succeed if Washington continued the same Pakistan policy. Changing Pakistan policy is important for the US to see its Afghan policy succeed, he said. He said Trump's expected good relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin would help the region a lot.(ANI)