Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai said in an interview that Islamabad is trying to hold the Afghan peace process hostage to its Kashmir objectives.

Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai said in an interview that Islamabad is trying to hold the Afghan peace process hostage to its Kashmir objectives.
India should be wary about a possible U.S.-Pakistan “deal” on Afghanistan, warned former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, as U.S. special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad was set to begin another round of talks in Doha to try and reach a deal with the Taliban. Mr. Karzai, who was in Delhi to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, said he had conveyed the “fears for Afghanistan” if there was a deal that involved Pakistan.

“We Afghans have suffered massively the consequences of American-Pakistani deals,” Mr. Karzai told The Hindu in an interview. “Now too, this is very likely, and this is our fear and concern. We have been clear with Ambassador Khalilzad that we will fully back negotiations for peace in Afghanistan, but we draw a clear distinction between peace in Afghanistan and U.S.-Pakistani deals in Afghanistan,” he said, adding that India, which had suffered similar consequences “should be extremely worried”.

Responding to Mr. Trump’s recent comments, where he framed the India-Pakistan problem over Kashmir as a religious issue, Mr. Karzai said the U.S. President was being “too simplistic”.
“Hindus and Muslims have lived together for centuries in this part of the world and produced great achievements together. Any division on a Hindu-Muslim basis is very simplistic,” Mr. Karzai said.

“Pakistan’s desire to link the two indicates that it still sees Afghanistan as a place for “strategic depth”, to the detriment of Afghanistan. We don’t see any link between events in Kashmir to the peace process in Afghanistan, and we would like that Pakistan doesn’t try to hold the peace process hostage to its objectives in Kashmir,” Mr. Karzai added.


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