Dismissing Pakistan’s strong objection to the growing Indo-Afghan ties, President Hamid Karzai has said Kabul would continue to build on the relations with New Delhi which were in the interest of the war-ravaged country.
Stating that Afghanistan is a sovereign State, he added that his Government has the right to decide what is in the best national interest of the country and no one can and none so far have been able to dictate those terms to its people.
“We fought the Soviets. We fought the British. We fought everybody else because we wanted to keep this sense that we are independent, our sovereignty.
“For that reason, we are requesting our friends in Pakistan that we will have relations with India because we are sovereign, and we will have relations with India because it’s in our interest,” the Afghan President said at the prestigious Brookings Institute.
However, Karzai, who is here for a trilateral summit also involving US President Barack Obama and his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari, said Afghanistan’s relations with India will never be against its ties with Pakistan or at the expense of relations with Islamabad.
“It will be a contribution of relations to Pakistan,” he said responding to a question from Bruce Riedel, an ex-CIA official and co-chair of US inter-agency panel that formulated the new Af-Pak policy in March.