Karzai hopes PM Shehbaz will engage positively with Afghanistan | The Express Tribune

Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai on Thursday expressed hope that the new government in Pakistan would pursue “good relations with Afghanistan”.

Karzai, who remained in power from 2001-14, made the remarks during an interview with BBC, Tolo News reported.

“I can tell you that when I was in office the last year of my office, I had an excellent relationship with Mian Nawaz Sharif, the then prime minister of Pakistan, who I found to be very willing to engage very fruitfully with Afghanistan,” he said,

“I hope that Mr Shehbaz Sharif, the current Prime Minister of Pakistan – his brother –would follow the same path and would find that the Afghan people would respond to them very very positively,” he added.

The former president further assured: “We do wish a good relationship with Pakistan. Stable relationship, stabilise the relationship with Pakistan.”

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However, when asked about the recent Pakistani airstrikes in the Kunar and Khost provinces, he responded saying: “That was a clear violation of Afghanistan’s sovereignty… of its territorial integrity and the killing of Afghan women and children, which again the Afghan people condemned and protest against.”

Karzai once again emphasised the need to reopen schools for Afghan girls above grade six.

Commenting on the recent deadly attacks on some of the educational institutions, he said it was an “attack against Afghanistan’s efforts for educating its young.”

He further said that the attacks weren’t ethnic and that Da’ish had claimed the responsibility for such attacks during the past few years.

“This is clearly an attack against Afghan peace and movement towards stability and progress. This is clearly an attack against Afghanistan’s efforts for educating its young,” he concluded.

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