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Pak no more an Afghan kingmaker: Karzai

His reference apparently was to how Pakistan blessed the Govt formation in Afghanistan after the mujahideen returned to Kabul.

india Updated: May 19, 2006 13:34 IST

Pakistan should know that gone are the days when Afghan governments were formed in Pakistan and dissolved there, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said in a renewed tirade against its eastern neighbour.

"Afghans are now themselves masters of their country and the Afghan people themselves will take decisions," Karzai was quoted as telling tribal elders and officials in Kunar province, the Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) news agency said.

Karzai reiterated that Pakistan was training militants and sending them into Afghanistan.

Pakistan Foreign Office spokeswoman Tasneem Aslam has termed Karzai's statement "baseless and absurd".

She said that instead of accusing Pakistan, Afghanistan should take action against infighters.

After he met Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf for the fourth time in two years in April, the leak of a list of those allegedly being trained in the camps in Pakistan caused a diplomatic spat.

Musharraf accused Karzai of bad faith and releasing an "outdated" list.

"Islamabad should realise it no longer has power to determine events in Afghanistan. Pakistani intelligence gives military training to people and then sends them to Afghanistan with logistics," the Daily Times newspaper of Islamabad quoted Karzai as saying.

Karzai's reference apparently was to how Pakistan blessed the government formation in Afghanistan after the mujahideen it had supported against the Soviet forces returned to Kabul. Then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif led a huge delegation to the inauguration.

When its relations with the new rulers soured, Pakistan supported the Taliban government that ruled most of Afghanistan between 1997 and December 2001, in the process acquiring what its security analysts called "strategic depth."

Karzai described fugitive Taliban supremo Mulla Mohammad Omar as a coward "hiding in the other country and sending youth to kill our people".

Meanwhile, Karzai's Foreign Minister Rangeen Dadfar Spanta told BBC television: "The Afghan government knows where Osama Bin Laden and Mullah Omar are hiding.

"The sources of terrorism in Afghanistan - funding and providing weapons to insurgents here - are not in the country," Spanta maintained.

Afghanistan's problem could only be solved through regional cooperation, he said. Pakistan must directly attack the sources of terrorism, he said, adding, "Pakistan should do a lot more to stop insurgents from crossing its border into Afghanistan," said the minister.

First Published: May 19, 2006 12:27 IST