President Hamid Karzai while in New Delhi on Saturday said that he no longer “trusts” the U.S., accusing the Americans of saying one thing and doing another.
Karzai’s statement to journalists in India came a day after he insisted he would not be “intimidated” into signing the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) allowing U.S. troops to stay in Afghanistan post-2014.
“I don’t trust them,” Karzai said in a wide-ranging discussion at a local hotel in which he singled out a letter U.S. President Barack Obama wrote last month assuring him that U.S. forces would “respect” the safety of Afghans in their homes.
Karzai was speaking on the second day of a three-day visit to India during which Washington hopes New Delhi can persuade him to sign the security pact, which ensure a close military patnership between Kabul and Washington in the years following the end of the NATO combat mission in 2014.
Karzai’s stance outraged U.S. officials and lawmakers, who have threatened a complete pullout of forces if Karzai does not sign the accord by the end of the year.
“When Obama writes to me that he will respect homes, they should prove it… implement the letter, respect Afghan homes,” Karzai said. “Just instruct no more bombings and there will be no more bombings and of course launch the peace process publicly and officially.”
“I am trying to make it a win-win for all,” he said.
Karzai has come under major fire in recent weeks for his stance on the BSA, an agreement, which has recieved widspread support seen as a critical piece of the puzzle to Afghanistan having a promising future.
His delay has been in direct conflict with the recommendaiton made by the 2,500-person Loya Jirga in Kabul last month, which called on the government to sign the BSA as soon as possible.
“Karzai and Obama must sit together and solve the issues,” Afghan MP Shukria Barakzai said. “They should end the media war.”
Earlier this month, U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice traveled to Kabul and met with Karzai. In an interview with TOLONews. Rice said the U.S. has no “magic wand” and could not simply bring peace to Afghanistan overnight.
NATO forces are withdrawing from Afghanistan by the end of 2014, after which time the Afghan forces will take over full security responsibility. The alliance currently has around 80,000 troops in Afghanistan, the majority being American.
NATO plans to leave a training mission, expected to number 8,000 to 12,000 soldiers, in Afghanistan if the BSA is signed.
President Karzai was said to have appealed to the Indian government this week to provide military equipment to Afghanistan, perhaps looking to fill the potential void opened up when NATO departs next year. However, so far he had not had much success.
“The two sides discussed more things including security and defence cooperation between the two countries, and both sides agreed to improve the training [Afghan forces] and will provide facilities and equipment,” Karzai’s spokesman Fayeq Wahidi said.
However, reportedly, New Delhi wants to avoid getting swept up in Afghanistan’s challenges, as supplying military equipment could irritate neighboring countries, especially Pakistan.
Although Salman Khurshid, the Indian Foreign Minister, said that New Delhi doesn’t want to provide weapons to Afghanistan at the moment, the Presidential Palace in Kabul reported an agreement between the two sides on security and defensive cooperation.
Karzai presented New Delhi with a list of military equipment in May. This list included heavy weaponry such as tanks, ground vehicles and helicopters, and it was originally shot down by India