No threat of war: Afghanistan

June 18, 2008

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KABUL, June 17: A spokesman for President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday downplayed the Afghan leader’s threat to attack militants in Pakistan, saying that there was no intention to start a war with the neighbouring country.

US-installed Karzai said this weekend that his war-ravaged country would be justified in striking at Taliban militants on Pakistani soil in what he called self-defence.

“The president is not announcing that we are going to war with Pakistan. We do not intend to go to war with Pakistan. We believe in good relations,” Karzai’s spokesman Homayun Hamidzada told journalists in Kabul.

“The president used that strong language to convey a message. Pakistan is a sovereign state and should behave responsibly,” he added.

Hamidzada said Kabul expected Islamabad, which is a fellow ally in the US led ‘war on terror’, to stop Taliban militants crossing the border into Afghanistan.

“As a sovereign nation you would not allow any other elements to use your territory against another sovereign state and Pakistan is a sovereign state,” Hamidzada said.

He added that Pakistan “needs to make sure that their territory is not used by terrorist elements against Afghanistan.”—AFP