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Taliban reject Karzai's charges on Pak

Taliban rejected accusations by President Karzai that Pakistan was supporting it to wage a bloody insurgency in Afghanistan.

india Updated: Dec 16, 2006 18:57 IST

Taliban rebels on Saturday rejected accusations by Afghan President Hamid Karzai that Pakistan was supporting them to wage a bloody insurgency in Afghanistan.

After dropping hints for months about Islamabad's role in the violence that has claimed 4,000 lives this year, Karzai directly accused the neighbouring Islamic republic on two separate occasions in the past week.

The Taliban denied the allegations, saying Pakistan was also their enemy as it was a key US ally.

"I strongly dismiss Karzai's claims that Taliban are being supported by Pakistan," Taliban spokesman Mohammad Hanif told the agency.

"Pakistan itself is our enemy, because it is America's friend and helped topple Taliban government."

Hanif emphasised that the Taliban movement was "purely a national resistance" and the Afghan nation was behind it.

He vowed that they would continue their struggle until "the invading forces are ousted and Karzai's puppet regime is toppled".

Karzai accused the Pakistan government Wednesday of trying to turn his countrymen into "slaves", in his strongest words yet blaming Islamabad for its part in a wave of violence.

Hamid Karzai added that he was the only person able to prevent Afghans, angered by the insurgency, from "coming after" Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf.

Pakistan hit back by saying the roots of the problem were in Afghanistan and that Islamabad was doing all it could to counter militancy but stopped short of an outright rebuttal.

First Published: Dec 16, 2006 18:35 IST