Karzai rebuffs US pressure to ink security deal

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has criticised what he calls pressure from the United States to accept a security agreement, accusing Washington of behaving like a colonial power.

Karzai has thrown the pact shaping the US military presence post-2014 into doubt in the past by saying that he would only sign if new conditions were met and then only after elections in April next year.

In a recent interview, Karzai said the special US envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, James Dobbins, had effectively told him during a recent visit to Kabul that without a security agreement there would be no peace.

Karzai said that could be interpreted as meaning: ‘If you don’t sign the agreement, we will provoke fighting in your country, we will cause trouble.’

In the absence of a deal, Washington says it will consider pulling its entire military presence out of Afghanistan, which remains gripped by the Islamist Taliban’s insurgency.

‘Even if they are serious, they can’t push us up against the wall,’ Karzai said. ‘Afghans will not submit, they have already fought colonial masters, they don’t accept it.’

US troops first went into Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks on the United States, to oust the Taliban government, which provided refuge to Osama Bin Laden.