Karzai vows to take war on Taliban to Pakistani soil
Afghan President Hamid Karzai said on
Sunday that his country was victim of terrorism coming from the border with Pakistan and vowed to fight on Pakistani soil in "self-defence", dpa reported.
Speaking to reporters in his fortified presidential palace, Karzai said three Pakistani Taliban leaders - Baitullah Mehsud, Mullah Fazilullah, and Mullah Omar - warned they would come to Afghanistan and fight the Afghan or international forces.
"Our patience is running thin, thousands of people are sent to our country, our houses are burnt, our school are burnt," Karzai said.
"Mullah Fazilullah said that we have right to go to his house and kill him there wherever they are. Regarding Baitullah Mesud, we will go openly and we will hit him, the Pakistani government should know we will come and hit him there wherever he is," Karzai said angrily.
Mehsud is a Taliban leader who commands thousands fighters in South Waziristan, the restive tribal region in north-west Pakistan. He has recently vowed to wage Jihad (holy war) against the US and its allies in Afghanistan.
Mehsud has also been accused of having direct links in the assassination of Pakistan's former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, along with a series of suicide attacks on the country's security forces.
Relations between Kabul and Islamabad, the two close allies of US on war against terror, have soured recently after the Pakistan government decided to strike a peace deal with Pakistani Taliban, who are widely entrenched on the border with Afghanistan.
Several Afghan officials warned the truce would enable Taliban militants to step up their fights inside Afghanistan.
US officials also recently joined Afghanistan in its concerns over the Pakistani truce, while NATO commanders on the ground have recently openly pointed finger at tribal area in Pakistan as the safe haven for insurgents.
Pakistan, which supported the creation of Taliban and officially recognized the Ultra-Islamic regime until last days before the US-led invasion toppled their government, vehemently denies the claims and asserts that the regime has deployed more than 100,000 troops to the rugged border to clamp down on insurgents.
Thousands of Taliban militants, including their leader, the one- eyed Mullah Mohammad Omar, have escaped and were given sanctuaries in Pakistani tribal region. The militants often cross border and stage attacks in Afghan soil.
When a foreigner wanted to come to Afghanistan country and fight its forces, Karzai rhetorically asked: "What should be our defence? Reading poems? Or it should be something that would rescue us?"
"We will be killed here anyway, it is better that we go a step forward and kill ourselves there so that the enemies could not come after us, it is a very serious issue," the president said on his return from a donor conference in France.
The Friday conference in Paris, the international community pledged more than 20 billion dollars for the reconstruction war- ravaged country and strengthening of its fledging security forces.
"Fazilullah should know that we will hit him in his house and in his bases, the other fellow Mullah Omar of Pakistan should know the same, this is a two-way road in this case," Karzai said.
"We will get them and we will defeat them and we will avenge all that they have done in Afghanistan for the past so many years," the Afghan president said.
"We hit them yesterday," the president said, without giving any details.
On Thursday at least 11 Pakistani troops including an officer were killed when US-led coalition forces destroyed paramilitary Frontier Corps post at Gora Prai in the tribal district of Mohmand Agency.
The incident happened when Afghan and coalition forces clashed with a group of militants who were trying to cross the border. Islamabad protested the US forces for bombing, but coalition forces in Afghanistan called their action as "self-defence".
Karzai's blunt comments come after some 900 prisoners including some 400 jailed Taliban managed to escape following an attack by militants on a prison in southern city of Kandahar on Friday night.
The attack was similar to the previous two assaults earlier this year, in which Taliban militants, contrary to their typical guerrilla-style, carried out a more sophisticated attack strategy.
In January a group of militants attacked the capital's only five- star hotel, killing six persons, while militants attacked a military parade in Kabul in May.
Karzai and foreign diplomats attending the ceremony survived the attack, but three people, including a lawmaker, were killed.
Following those incidents, Afghan top security chiefs said that the attack was plotted inside the tribal areas of Pakistan.
"These two incidents in Kabul and Kandahar were very, very fortunate incidents, indicative of the challenges that we still have indicative of the weaknesses that we still have," Karzai admitted.
"Therefore it is all the more reason for us to work harder and to keep building the Afghan institutions and intelligence and to be a lot more alert and steadfast in our resolve in confronting terrorism as it affects all of us."