Outgoing Afghan President Hamid Karzai has dismissed suggestions that his country could descend into the same situation as Iraq, which has recently been plagued by an al-Qaeda-linked militancy.
In an interview with the BBC on Wednesday, Karzai ruled out the idea that militant groups could make a comeback in Afghanistan and dismissed the possibility of a surge of violence like that of Iraq in his country.
Asked whether Afghanistan may experience a militant comeback after the planned withdrawal of most of NATO troops by the end of this year, Karzai said, “Never, not at all,” adding that al-Qaeda has no presence in the country.
He also hailed the performance of Afghan security forces during the country’s recent presidential elections, despite Taliban threats and attacks.
The Afghan president said his country might need international support at some points but said “the protection of the country is the work of Afghans.”
Karzai said the recent surge of violence by Takfiri militants of the al-Qaeda splinter Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Iraq can be traced to the US so-called war on terror which he said “was not fought genuinely or honestly.”
“The consequences are being felt across the region,” he said, adding that he hopes that “the US will engage in a realistic truly productive manner in the war on terror if that’s what they are here for.”
The ISIL militants gained control of parts of Iraq’s northern areas on June 10. The militants first took control of Nineveh Province, including its provincial capital, Mosul. Over the past days, the onslaught has met a tough resistance by the Iraqi army and people.