Wednesday Jan 09, 201306:22 PM GMT
US uses 'zero troop option' to pressure Karzai: Afghan MP
A US-led soldier in Afghanistan (file photo)
A US-led soldier in Afghanistan (file photo)
Afghanistan’s National Assembly lawmakers say the US seeks to pressure Afghan President Hamid Karzai by considering the removal of all its troops from the war-torn country, Press TV reports.


The United States’ recent announcement of the removal of all its troops from Afghanistan is aimed at pressuring the Afghan president to sign a new security agreement with Washington, Afghan lawmaker Khalil Ahmad Shahidzadeh told reporters on Wednesday.

Another Afghan lawmaker, Sher Wali Wardak, said that by announcing the zero troop option, the US pursues two objectives.

“One [objective] is the true withdrawal of the United States from Afghanistan as the US has not reached its goals in Afghanistan. The second objective is to exert pressure on Hamid Karzai to sign the security deal between Kabul and Washington to serve the United States’ interest,” he added.

United States Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said Tuesday that the Obama administration is considering the removal of all troops in Afghanistan after 2014.

"The US does not have an inherent objective of 'X' number of troops in Afghanistan," Rhodes said.

Referring to an upcoming meeting between Karzai and US President Barack Obama, Rhodes noted that Obama does not view the negotiations as having a goal of keeping US troops in Afghanistan.

In an interview with NBC News on December 6, 2012, Karzai sharply criticized the United States, blaming American and NATO forces for the growing insecurity in his country.

"I have written to President Obama that the Afghan people will not allow its government to enter into a security agreement, while the United States continues to violate Afghan sovereignty and Afghan loss," he added.

The United States, which currently has about 66,000 troops stationed in Afghanistan, invaded the country in 2001 under the pretext of ending the Taliban rule and bringing stability.

Twelve years after the invasion of Afghanistan, violence, insecurity, and social problems still appear to have no end in sight.

AZA/TNP/SZH
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