Afghanistan does not need Indian boots on its soil: Karzai
Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai said Afghanistan did not need Indian boots on its soil, only to add later that it did not need any boots on its ground, said a report published on NDTV.
Speaking to Indian journalist Barkha Dutt during the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit 2014 in New Delhi, the former Afghan president also said that India was well situated to train Afghanistan's officers, civil services as well as fulfill its needs of military equipment.
Meanwhile, referring to Pakistan, Karzai said the discovery of former Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in Pakistan proved that US was waging war against the wrong country.
Bin Laden was killed by US Navy Seals inside his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan in May 2011.
In an address to a think-tank in New Delhi earlier this week, Karzai had also rejected warnings by former military ruler Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf that India and Pakistan could co-opt allies among Afghanistan's main ethnic groups to effectively wage war against each other, saying such claims were “hurtful”.
“Of course Afghanistan will not allow a proxy war between Pakistan and India,” Karzai had said, saying he was “sure” India wouldn't allow such a scenario either.
Take a look: Afghanistan won't allow proxy India-Pakistan war: Karzai
In an AFP interview earlier this week, Musharraf had warned that Pakistan would look to use ethnic Pashtuns to counter if India tries to achieve its goal of creating an “anti-Pakistan Afghanistan”.
Examine: Musharraf warns of proxy war with India in Afghanistan
India and Pakistan have long accused each other of using proxy forces to try to gain influence in Afghanistan.
Pakistan was one of only three countries that recognised the mainly Pashtun Taliban regime that ruled in Kabul before being toppled in late 2001 after a US-led invasion in the wake of the September 11 attacks.
The Taliban's downfall led to Karzai's installation as Afghan leader and he remained in power until standing down as president earlier this year.