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Karzai urges Pak to devise policy independent of US, India rivalries

December 21, 2011 - Kabul

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has urged Pakistan not to devise its policy on Afghanistan based on its rivalries with either India or the United States.

"We want Pakistan to have an independent policy towards Afghanistan. It should not look at Afghanistan based on its relations with India and America. Pakistan should approach us as its neighbour," The News quoted Karzai, as saying.

His statement came in the wake of already strained ties between Washington and Islamabad over the deadly November 26 raid.

Karzai said he was trying not to get Afghanistan embroiled in regional rivalries but aimed to make the country as a thriving business center after the NATO troops withdrawal in 2014.

"We are trying to turn Afghanistan into a country where in the years between 2014 and 2024 it won't be a scene of negative rivalries and clashes," he said.

"Instead it will be a place for cooperation, business and economy, and a main transition route between central, south and east Asia," he added.

He said the next president, who would assume power in 2014, should be "sincere, patriotic, efficient and a person trusted by all the people of Afghanistan".


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