US, Nato created 'parallel' govt, says Karzai
President Hamid Karzai criticised the US and other foreign countries for creating a "parallel government" in Afghanistan's countryside during a blunt overview of the country's problems before a UN Security Council delegation.
Karzai called Tuesday for the international community to set a timeline to end the war in Afghanistan and asked why given the number of countries involved and the amount of money spent the Taliban remains so powerful.
"This war has gone on for seven years, the Afghans don't understand anymore, how come a little force like the Taliban can continue to exist, can continue to flourish, can continue to launch attacks," he asked.
With an entire Nato force in Afghanistan and the entire international community behind them, "still we are not able to defeat the Taliban," Karzai told the gathering at his presidential palace.
Karzai, who is facing re-election next year and making increasing overtures to conservative Afghan tribes most likely to vote for him, has been criticised for being ineffective and weak, while his government was accused of deep-seated corruption.
The president's Tuesday comments appear to be a response to that criticism and lay the blame for the deteriorating security situation and other woes on the international community.
Karzai's office sent a lengthy English transcript of his remarks to journalists, making it clear he wanted the comments publicised internationally.
The critique also comes as the international community, and the United States in particular, is ramping up military and aid efforts in Afghanistan. The US now has some 32,000 troops in the country, but US military leaders say up to 20,000 more American forces could be sent to Afghanistan next year.