Afghan president backtracks on US-Pak statement: Report | world | Hindustan Times
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Afghan president backtracks on US-Pak statement: Report

The Afghan President's office has sought to distance Hamid Karzai from his controversial remarks in a television interview, wherein he had asserted that Afghanistan would side with Pakistan in a hypothetical war against the US.

world Updated: Oct 26, 2011 00:54 IST

The Afghan President's office has sought to distance Hamid Karzai from his controversial remarks in a television interview, wherein he had asserted that Afghanistan would side with Pakistan in a hypothetical war against the US.

The presidential palace said that Karzai's comments to Pakistan's Geo TV, aired on Saturday, had been misinterpreted, The LA Times reported.

Siamak Herawi, a spokesperson for Karzai, said that the president had not intended any slight to the Western governments that have spent billions of dollars shoring up the Afghan administration during the 10-year war.

"The media misinterpreted (Karzai's) speech," Herawi said, adding that Karzai had been trying to express solidarity with Pakistan for having taken in millions of Afghan refugees during decades of war and the rule of the Taliban movement.

Karzai's remarks came toward the end of an interview, in which the Afghan leader repeatedly urged Pakistan to move against Islamic militants who take refuge on its soil, according to a transcript released by Karzai's office.

Responding to a question whether Kabul would support Islamabad in the event of a conflict between Pakistan and the US, Karzai pledged his country's support for its neighbour.

"If a war ever breaks (out) between Pakistan and America, we will side (with) Pakistan," he said, according to the transcript. "Afghanistan would stand with you. Afghanistan is your brother."