News - Afghanistan
Former president Hamid Karzai on Thursday blasted the National Unity Government on how it dealt with the Pakistan issue and said he was distancing himself from the leaders.
In an interview with the Voice of America, he called the intelligence-sharing agreement reportedly signed between Afghanistan and Pakistan's spy agencies as "embarrassing and contrary to the country's national sovereignty."
Karzai said he has distanced himself from the NUG leaders after Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security (NDS) last month signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) which would see both countries work closely together to fight terror.
Based on the agreement – which was exposed by TOLOnews – ISI would train and equip the NDS. In addition, Afghanistan and Pakistan would each fight terrorism and both institutions would investigate accused individuals behind any terror incident within their respective countries.
However, a public outcry ensued following reports of the agreement.
Even some unconfirmed reports suggested that the NDS chief, Rahmatullah Nabil, also opposed inking the agreement.
"It is said in a part of this document that NDS and ISI will jointly work on building mindsets. It means that the people should be informed in a way to easily deceive them. And the other part of this document states that any party that refrains from cooperation will be identified as destroyer, which means suffocating a party," Karzai said in the interview.
Soon after reports of the deal emerged, Karzai warned that the MoU was unacceptable to the people of Afghanistan. He asked the government to terminate the agreement.
"In fact they [Pakistan] always want to have Afghans give up their rights to Pakistan, therefore, this document should be invalidated," Karzai stressed.
He rejected the term "Pak-Afghan friendship" and called the so-called friendly relations with Pakistan as meaningless.
"Friendship builds when attacks against us are stopped," Karzai maintained.
In addition, he welcomed government's efforts to begin peace talks with the Taliban but strongly criticized the NUG's approach towards Pakistan.
"I absolutely support peace with the Taliban, but a peace which surrenders Afghanistan to Pakistan is not acceptable to me," Karzai warned.
These statements were expressed only a few days after President Ashraf Ghani reportedly sent a list of security demands to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
In a confidential letter to Sharif, Ghani set out a list of demands in terms of bridging the neighboring divide and ending extremism in the region – with the primary focus being on Afghanistan's security.