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Afghanistan to support 'brother Pakistan' if US or India attacked: Karzai

Saturday October 22, 2011 10:16:55 PM, IANS

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Islamabad: Aghanistan President Hamid Karzai has said that his country will stand by "brother Pakistan" if it was attacked either by the US or India, Xinhua reported.

"God forbid, if anytime war erupts between Pakistan and the United States, we will stand by Pakistan," Karzai told Pakistan's Geo TV in an interview, parts of which were aired Saturday evening.

The full interview, conducted at the Presidential Palace in Kabul, will be telecast later.

"If Pakistan is attacked and if the people of Pakistan need Afghanistan's help, Afghanistan would be there with you," Karzai said.

"We are your brother as Pakistan has given us shelter (during the 1979-89 occupation of Afghanistan by former Soviet Union), as Pakistan considered us brother and gave homes and we spent time in Pakistan with respect as refugees," he said.

Asked what Afghanistan would do if India attacked Pakistan, Karzai said: "Anybody that attacks Pakistan, Afghanistan will stand with Pakistan. Afghanistan will be a brother of Pakistan. Afghanistan will never betray a brother."

He complained that the Pakistani establishment has "done a lot (of harm) to Afghanistan" but he said "Afghanistan is still a brother".

Karzai's comments came amid sharply increased tension between Pakistan and the US after top American military officials threatened unilateral military action against Pakistan-based Afghan insurgent groups including the Haqqani network.

Karzai also dispelled the impression that Afghanistan and India signed a strategic partnership agreement in view of the worsening relations of his country with Pakistan following last month's assassination of Afghan peace envoy Burhanuddin Rabbani.

"Now, our relations with India, our signing of the strategic partnership with India, it did not happen at the spur of the moment. This is something that we have been working on for years now," the Afghan president said.

Karzai said the tensions between the US and Pakistan had not had an impact on Kabul's attitude towards Islamabad. "You know that we have had this engagement with Pakistan for a long time and if it comes to a brother-to-brother relationship, you'll find that Afghanistan will be there with you in times of difficulty," he said.

Karzai said his country's policies towards Pakistan would not be dictated by any country. "Afghanistan has its own policy, its own stand, its own clear view of things and from that point of view, it's dealing with our brothers in Pakistan."








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