Photo shows Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaking at a press conference at a military academy on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, June 18, 2013. —AP Photo
Photo shows Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaking at a press conference at a military academy on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, June 18, 2013. —AP Photo

KABUL: The Afghan government on Wednesday threatened to boycott planned talks with the Taliban in Qatar announced by the United States, saying the peace process had to be “Afghan-led”.

“The latest developments show that foreign hands are behind the Taliban’s Qatar office and, unless they are purely Afghan-led, the High Peace Council will not participate in talks,” a statement said.

The High Peace Council is the government body in charge of leading peace efforts with the Taliban.

The statement also criticised US involvement in the agreement to open the Taliban office that is meant to facilitate peace negotiations.

“The opening of Taliban office in Qatar, the way it was opened and messages it contained, contradicts the guarantees given by the US to Afghanistan,” the statement said after a meeting at President Hamid Karzai’s palace.

Karzai on Wednesday also broke off crucial security talks with the United States, angry over the name given to the Qatar office.

The row centres on the Taliban office using the title “Islamic Emirate Of Afghanistan” – the formal name of the Islamist movement's government from 1996 until it was toppled in 2001.

Explaining the suspension of the security talks, Karzai’s spokesman Aimal Faizi earlier told AFP: “There is a contradiction between what the US government says and what it does regarding Afghanistan peace talks.

“The president suspended the BSA (Bilateral Security Agreement) talks with the US this morning.”

“The president is not happy with the name of the office. We oppose the title the 'Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan' because such a thing doesn't exist,” said a palace official who declined to be named. “The US was aware of the president’s stance.”

Published Jun 19, 2013 03:55pm

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Comments (14) (Closed)

Jun 19, 2013 05:02pm

What is Karzai expecting from America and Taliban?

Did he considered the name of the country when he took over? Did he ever considered the name when backing warlords/ drug dealers? Did he ever considered the name when he and his brother looted millions of dollars?

zia khan
Jun 19, 2013 05:19pm

Inefficient and corrupt Karzai has been an embarrassment for the Americans from the very beginning. All issues can be discussed on the negotiating table and this historic opportunity should not be lost on petty issues. He does not seem to be sincere in bringing peace to Afghanistan. Probably, he feels sidelined by the Americans and will sabotage the peace process if the negotiations are shifted to Afghanistan. Doha is the right place for negotiations.

Salman Khan
Jun 19, 2013 06:36pm

This Karzai guy, leading one of the poorest countries of the world, lives in a palace? That's outrageous!

Jun 19, 2013 07:12pm

Sounds like a loser who was used and is now being discarded. Very insecure and unimpressive individual whose days are numbered.

Jun 19, 2013 07:32pm

a US alibi .... now, who would listen to this modern day Mir Jaffar aka Karzai.? A novel traitor, an abettor to US agenda, a conspirator, harboring round the clock to kill his own people, a rebel to his own people's justified demands, a dictator with crutches ...

A novice who was paid, financed, nurtured, may be brain-washed and finally brought to power by USA for US interest only and now he think he can go back on his Lords sitting in Washington .... what a crap and fool he is. His persistence and continued denial, well his personal choice, leads us to think if his end will not be different to others who initially worked for USA and later denied their supremacy and got terminated in holes, at public hands, hanged, murdered by family members or in a march past. so its beginning of Karzai's end.

Pride hath a fall.

Sooner than later, better for Afghans and Pakistanis if someone else reigns in the supreme on most difficult presidential chair.

Jun 19, 2013 08:33pm

Whilst I hate the man, I think what he says is absolutely right. Who is US or any power in the world to dictate a soverign government in the world about who their next leader should be.

Pakistan has lost more than 70,000 civilians and army personnel and I am sure Afghanistan may have a significantly larger unrecorded count. Also, there are many Allied forces men and women who died for George Bush and Tony Blair's war hungry decisions.

Negotiate as much as you like, but if this is all US wanted, they must be held responsible for causing these deaths by inaccurate action. So now there will be a Taliban govt next to pakistan in the near future ? I would be very worried as a Pakistani!!

Jun 19, 2013 09:09pm

For once, Karzai seems to have taken the right stand. US's dibbly-dobbly with the militants need to be exposed, right at the start.

Jun 19, 2013 09:43pm

Government of Afghanistan is absolutely right in rejecting talks with those who have established head-office of a rival Afghanistan Government in Qatar. The willingness of US to negotiate with the rebels/enemies of Afghanistan Government is a slap on the face of entire Afghanistan.

Jun 20, 2013 01:25am

"Move over Karzai" your purpose/usefulness has come to an end, better to go back to US and "run your little kebab stall!" and tell the public thats where you gathered all those billions of dollars, whenever they are discovered!

Jun 20, 2013 01:48am

The national and official language of Afghanistan is Pashto and Karzai speak and does its business in Farsi, what about that contradiction?

Jun 20, 2013 02:39am

He is worried that he will have to split the CIA bribes with Taliban if they are legitimize..

Jun 20, 2013 08:40pm

"Who is Karzai?"

Jun 21, 2013 07:39am

@ ailly : You called Karzai as Mir Jafer of modern days. Can you state clearly which Afghan leader is the right person to become President of Afghanistan. Most likely you will call out the name of one of the Talibans. I do not blame you. But if you do not know who could be a better president, then do not throw slur at Karzai. By the way, the Talibans want an Amir of Afghanistan chosen by Talibans and not by Afghan people. They do not want a President.

Jun 22, 2013 08:09am

Those who do not know President Karzai or hate President Karzai read this:

During the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s, the Western-educated Hamid Karzai served the resistance as an advisor and diplomat, winning the loyalty of the Mujahideen, or "holy warriors," who finally expelled the Soviets from Afghanistan. Karzai was deputy foreign minister in the postwar government from 1992 to 1994, but the country was soon rent by civil war as local warlords competed for power. The Taliban movement sought Karzai's support in restoring order, and offered him the post of United Nations ambassador, but he broke with the new regime when it fell under the influence of foreign terrorists.

Please read more here: