Karzai confident US will meet his security pact demands


Afghan President Hamid Karzai told a group of investors in India that the US would meet his demands for signing a security pact that would keep some American troops in his country beyond 2014.
“Eventually, America will fulfill our conditions,” Karzai said last night in the western city of Pune, referring to talks over a bilateral security agreement between the nations that is still awaiting his signature. “If you are waiting for the BSA, that’s good. It will come.”
Karzai said he would not sign the pact until the US shows that it has put an end to attacks on Afghan homes and publicly starts peace talks with the Taliban. The two conditions are an “absolute prerequisite” to conclude the agreement, he told reporters earlier yesterday in New Delhi.
The agreement would ensure one of Asia’s poorest economies receives billions of dollars in aid money over the next decade and help maintain security in a country bordering Pakistan and Iran. It would also assuage investors seeking to tap mineral resources estimated at $3 trillion.
“Sure, there is some dust on the red carpet, but it will be clean again,” Karzai said, adding that investors faced “no risk” putting money in the country. “All those who have come to Afghanistan are millionaires or multimillionaires.”
Karzai dismissed concerns the U.S. was willing to withdraw all of its troops from his country.
“I don’t think the Americans are thinking of the zero option,” Karzai said referring to a scenario under which all US troops might leave Afghanistan in 2014. “It’s a brinkmanship they’re playing with us. Even if they did, then come what may.”