Afghan president bans forces from requesting NATO air support

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Hamid Karzai Afghan PresidentKabul (afviews): For the first time, the Afghan President Hamed Karzai has criticized the Afghan forces for calling in NATO air support which caused civilian casualties in his country.

Address to top commanders and army officers at the National Defence College in Kabul he said that Afghan forces should not have asked for air support in during military operations.

“Today, I would like to announce and will also issue order that no Afghan military personnel may, under any circumstances, ask foreigners to carry out an air raid during operations in our homes and villages. This country is now in a stage where our own forces request air raids and our homes are bombed and 14 people including our women and children have been killed,” Karzai told Afghan army.

He was pointing out foreigners operation in Shigal district of Kunar province, which killed 10 civilian including children and women.

“I summoned the NATO and American commander and asked him why such a thing had happened. He told me that our forces requested an air strike. If this is true, it is very regrettable and shameful. The personnel of our National Directorate of Security request foreign air support against only four terrorists and they bomb our villages. How can you ask foreigners for support to bomb your own soil?” he said.

It is expected that Afghan president will issue a decree in this regard, but he did not explain if the Afghan forces face though fight with Taliban, than what they will do to push back the insurgents.

Meanwhile, Afghan president voiced concern over mistreatment of prisoners by armed forces in Afghan prisons.

civilian_killing_afghanistan“The UN issued a report suggesting that there is torture in the Afghan prisons and detention centres. I have worked for 10 years to safeguard the human rights of the Afghans and I have argued with the US and the world over this issue. It is a shame and regrettable that we prevent America, NATO and foreigners from violating the rights of our people and are arguing with them, but we ourselves are violating the rights of our people,” he said.

The president said that according to a report by an Afghan fact-finding delegation, the UN report is not accurate enough, as they claim, but it is a reality that during the arrest of people on various, foreign and Afghan forces are committing violations.

Afghans are being tortured. It is very regrettable and shameful that we who consider ourselves the guardians of the rights in this land are violating the rights of our people, president Karzai added.

He accused previous governments of mistreating people and said, “It is not only foreigners who have oppressed us in Afghanistan. The Afghan people and nation have not been mistreated only by the foreigners, Russians, earlier the British, our neighbours or the foreigners who are here now, NATO and the US. Our own governments have also mistreated the Afghans on behalf of foreigners.”

These remarks apparently aimed at motivating the Afghan armed forces to defend their country after the foreign military pull-out. President Hamed Karzai has reiterated his government's commitment to defending Afghanistan with the country's own armed forces after the NATO-led International forces withdrawal in 2014.

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