Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Thursday urged his Western allies to destroy Islamist militant sanctuaries in neighbouring Pakistan after thousands of secret US files were leaked. An angry Islamabad described his statement as “incomprehensible.”
The Afghan leader thus joined a series of Pakistani officials and, most recently, British Prime Minister David Cameron in pointing a finger at Pakistan’s role in fomenting terrorism in Afghanistan.
“The time has come for our international allies to know that the war against terrorism is not in Afghanistan's homes and villages,” Karzai told a news conference in the Afghan capital Kabul.
“But rather this war is in the sanctuaries, funding centres and training places of terrorism which are outside Afghanistan.
“Whether we are able to destroy these sanctuaries or not is another question. We will try what we can... our international allies have this ability, but the question is why they are not doing it?”
His remarks came just two days after Afghanistan's national security adviser, Rangeen Dadfar Spanta, called on the West to review policy towards Pakistan after leaked Pentagon documents pointed to Pakistani double-dealing.
Pakistan said it was seeking clarification of “incomprehensible” remarks by Afghan President Hamid Karzai calling for tougher Western action against militant sanctuaries.
Asked by reporters about remarks made by Karzai and his national security adviser Rangeen Dadfar Spanta, foreign ministry spokesman Abdul Basit said their comments were “incomprehensible”.
US scrutinises leaks for risks to Afghans
The Pentagon is reviewing tens of thousands of classified battlefield reports made public this week about the war in Afghanistan to determine whether Afghan informants were identified and could be at risk of reprisals.
A Pentagon spokesman, Col. David Lapan, said that a Pentagon assessment team had not yet drawn any conclusions, but that “in general, the naming of individuals could cause potential problems, both to their physical safety or willingness to continue support to coalition forces or the Afghan government.”
A search by The New York Times through a sampling of the documents released by WikiLeaks found reports that gave the names of dozens of Afghans credited with providing credible information to American and NATO troops.