President Karzai: People Condition Foreign Troops Immunity on Peace and Stability in Afghanistan

October 18, 2012 -In a meeting on Thursday with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen leading a North Atlantic Council delegation to Kabul, a wide range of important issues including the ongoing security transition process, training and equipping of Afghan security forces, the NATO post-2014 mission, the issue of judicial immunity to foreign troops beyond 2014 and the baseless gloomy reports by some western media on the situation in Afghanistan.

On the issue of immunity to foreign troops after 2014, President Karzai said if the war and insecurity were still to persist in Afghanistan and if the Afghan borders were still unprotected and if for that sake, the immunity issue was to come up, the people of Afghanistan would thus not allow their government to offer any judicial immunity to foreign forces.

President Karzai strongly noted that the people of Afghanistan will condition the issue of immunity on first ensuring peace and stability in their country and otherwise, they would even consider discontinuing the strategic partnership, as any such partnership would have no practical benefit if it does not translate into peace and stability.

President Karzai added that Afghans were poor and destitute, but very proud when it comes to the issue of respect to their sovereignty and security. The immunity to foreign troops after 2014 is therefore an issue that depends on restoration of peace and security and protection of Afghanistan borders.

In response, NATO Secretary General agreed with President Karzai’s concerns and referred to the recent report by the Crisis Group as something that does not “reflect the reality in Afghanistan”.

He reaffirmed the long-term commitment of NATO and the international community to Afghanistan and urged that the NATO post-2014 mission would be focused on training, mentoring and equipping Afghan forces. He said Afghan forces had achieved considerable progress and provided security for three quarters of their country with the violence down in the areas where security has been transferred to Afghan forces.

In a separate meeting with Afghan defense minister and Afghan national Security Advisor, Secretary General Rasmussen and his accompanying North Atlantic Council delegation discussed a number of issues of mutual importance including the need for stronger measures for better governance, intensified fight against corruption and the insider attacks.