Afghanistan does not want proxy wars, says Karzai

ISLAMABAD: Afghan President Hamid Karzai told Pakistan today that his

country did not want to become a battle ground for proxy wars

between India, Pakistan, Iran and the United States.

India and Pakistan, implacable South Asian rivals, have struggled for influence in Afghanistan since the 2001 US-led invasion brought down the Taliban regime and

implanted Karzai’s Western-backed government.

Arch-foes Iran and the United States have also traded accusations of double dealing over the conflict in Afghanistan, where a Taliban insurgency against US and NATO-led troops is now into a ninth year.

“We in Afghanistan are fully aware and recognise that

without Pakistan and without its cooperation with Afghanistan, Afghanistan cannot be stable

or peaceful,” Karzai told a news conference after talks with

Pakistani leaders.

“It is also, I believe, recognised in Pakistan that without a stable and peaceful Afghanistan there cannot be stability or peace in Pakistan,” he said.

“Afghanistan does not want any proxy wars on its territory. It does not want a proxy war between India and Pakistan on Afghanistan.

“It does not want a proxy war between Iran and the United States on Afghanistan. It does not want any country... to engage in any activity against another country in Afghanistan,” he added.