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Made best efforts to stop terrorism emanting from Pakistan: Karzai

PTI 19 Nov 2014, 22:30:24 PM IST

New Delhi: Former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai today said he made best efforts to stop terrorism emanating from Pakistan and termed the recent blast at Wagah border, in which 55 Pakistanis were killed, as an instance of “snake biting the trainer”.

Addressing a lecture on ‘Afghanistan and Neighbourhood', organised by Delhi Policy Group here, he said he visited the neighbouring nation 20 times in 13 years of his tenure and gave “highest priority” to relations with Pakistan.  

“I don't think there is an alternative (to improving and bettering relations with Pakistan). President Ashraf Ghani has to try as I tried. We will keep trying to bring stability and peace to Afghanistan and Pakistan and also to effective campaign against terrorism. A few weeks ago, al Qaeda threatened India. A few days ago, at Wagah border, a horrific terrorist act.

“We have to recognise those who have an interest in playing with the snake, the snake has already begun to bite the trainer,” he said, referring to the terrorism emanating from Pakistan.

He added that for stability, it was important to have “brotherly and improved relationship” with Pakistan.  “As a very close and brotherly nation to Afghanistan, we also have highest priority... Personally I gave immense importance (to improving relations with Pakistan). One, Pakistan was a neighbour. Two, we had seen a lot coming from Pakistan, in terms of suffering to our people, in terms of insurgency.

“I travelled 20 times to Pakistan in the past 13 years.  Each time I have visited with tremendous hope...that we will go there and sit and settle several issues and have a brotherly and improved relationship,” he said, adding he conveyed to Pakistani leaders that what was affecting Afghanistan for years is now affecting Pakistan as well.  
“So that means we both are suffering and we have a lot of common ground to resolve the issues we have and start a life that is stabilised and that is not only connected to India, but also Iran and to the larger region.”

Responding to former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's comments that Islamabad would use ethnic Pashtuns to counter if India tries to achieve its goal of creating anti-Pakistan Afghanistan after the NATO forces pull-out, Karzai said, “That was a very unfortunate remark.”

“Afghanistan has a history of 5000 years. Saying that Pashtun will be used as a tool is hurtful and insulting to Pashtuns, insulting people of Afghanistan,” he said.