WASHINGTON - Coming out in defense of President Hamid Karzai, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said his recent statement that Afghanistan would side with Pakistan and not America was misunderstood and taken out of context. "It was taken out of context and misunderstood," Clinton said at a Congressional hearing when Congresswoman, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, sought her view on Karzai's statement.
In an interview with a Pakistani TV channel, Karzai said God forbid, if there ever was a war between Pakistan and America, Afghanistan would side with the neighbor.
Addressing the secretary of state, Ros-Lehtinen asked. "I wanted to ask you: Is this something that he told you in your meetings? How do you interpret his comments?"
Noting that she had a productive meeting with Karzai in Kabul last week, Clinton said immediately after coming to know about the comment, she asked US Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker to personally meet Karzai and check with him the reality.
"Crocker, who you know is one of our most distinguished, experienced diplomats, reported back he really believed what Karzai was talking about was the long history of cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan -- in particular, the refuge that Pakistan provided to millions of Afghans who were crossing the border, seeking safety during the Soviet invasion, during the warlordism, during the Taliban period, and that it -- not at all about a war that anybody was predicting and that it was, you know, taken out of context and misunderstood," Clinton said.