In the latest in a string of accusations, Afghan leaders pointed a finger at Pakistan for an attempt on President Hamid Karzai’s life on April 27, as well as an attack on the Serena Hotel in Kabul, which left seven dead.
Newsweek Special Correspondent Sami Yousafzai says that Afghanistan’s latest cries against Pakistan are election-year maneuvering on the part of Karzai, who will be subject to general elections in 2009.
REKHA VISWANATHAN (VOICEOVER): In the latest in a string of accusations, Afghan leaders pointed a finger at Pakistan for an attempt on President Hamid Karzai’s life on April 27, as well as an attack on the Serena Hotel in Kabul, which left seven dead.
SAEED ANSARI, AFGHANISTAN NATIONAL DIRECTORY FOR SECURITY (SUBTITLED TRANSLATION): The intelligence service of Pakistan is behind the April 27, 2008 incident, and also, as I explained, about the link with Humayun. After the Serena Hotel incident he escaped to Pakistan and lived in Lahore. It shows that the Pakistan intelligence service is directly behind the latest incidents.
VISWANATHAN: Pakistan rejected the claims outright.
MOHAMMED SADIQ, PAKISTAN FOREIGN MINISTRY: These allegations suggest that responsible members in the Afghan government perhaps wish to reignite the blame game. Pakistan rejects these baseless and irresponsible allegations and the attitude and proclivity behind them.
VISWANATHAN: Newsweek correspondent Sami Yousafzai was present at the press conference in Kabul that set off this latest war of words and told The Real News what Afghanistan’s security agency claimed to base its evidence on.
VOICE OF SAMI YOUSAFZAI, SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT, NEWSWEEK: He said the only answer, which was not really satisfying the journalists, that the people involved in that Parade Day attack made many phone calls to Pakistan. Even last week, President Karzai made a very harsh statement and even threatened that his Afghan troops will cross the border and attack and eliminate tribal militants and al-Qaeda militants inside Pakistan. And I think, since last six years, his position and popularity is very low among the Afghans. But people support Karzai’s statement. So I think that Karzai understands this is a good issue he can raise just before the election. And, you know, we have only one year left before the next common general elections.
Please note that TRNN transcripts are typed from a recording of the program; The Real News Network cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.