US-led war on Taliban will not be ‘successful’

US-led war on Taliban will not be ‘successful’

US-led war on Taliban will not be ‘successful’

Karzai pledges that he would step down in 2014 in line with the constitution. REUTERS photo

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has criticized the U.S.-led war on militancy in the country and claimed it will fail in the end.

The U.S.-led war on militancy would “not be successful from Afghanistan’s view” because it was being fought in Afghan villages, rather than against insurgents based in neighboring countries, Karzai said, in reference to Pakistan. Karzai also pledged that he would step down as required by the constitution at the end of his second term in 2014 and that nothing would prevent presidential elections from being held.

The election coincides with the scheduled withdrawal of NATO forces from Afghanistan and questions have been raised about whether the security situation could endanger the upcoming vote.

But Karzai, who has been the only elected head of state in Afghanistan since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion brought down the Taliban, said the election would not be hindered for any security-related reasons. “Even if my term is prolonged by one day it will be illegitimate,” he told a news conference.

“The election will definitely happen, 100 percent it will happen on time. You can choose your favorite candidate. Whoever you like, vote for him.” The international community sees the next vote as one of the last major hurdles before NATO combat troops withdraw at the end of 2014.