Outgoing Afghan President Hamid Karzai punctuated on Tuesday his tumultuous 13-year relationship with the United States, alleging that America invaded Afghanistan in 2001 for “its own interests” and never really wanted peace in the region.
Karzai, the only Afghan president since the 2001 US-led invasion, said the United States only wanted war in Afghanistan "because of its own interests,” and that Pakistan colludes with Washington to back perpetual violence in his country.
"If America and Pakistan really want it, peace will come to Afghanistan," Karzai said, according to AP. "War in Afghanistan is based on the aims of foreigners. The war in Afghanistan is to the benefit of foreigners. But Afghans on both sides are the sacrificial lambs and victims of this war."
Karzai criticized neighboring Pakistan for the lasting Taliban-led insurgency while warning the incoming government to "be extra cautious in relations with the [United States] and the West," Reuters reported.
Karzai’s successor, President-elect Ashraf Ghani, and his opponent Abudullah Abdullah signed apower-sharing dealover the weekend. After a fairly bitter electoral process, with Ghani and Abdullah both alleging voter fraud, Ghani stressed that the agreement struck between the two - which makes Abdullah the government chief executive, a newly-created role with prime ministerial duties - marks an extraordinary transfer of power in Afghanistan.