Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, February 23rd, 2020

Karzai Warns NATO Troop Immunity May Not Be Granted

Karzai Warns NATO Troop Immunity May Not Be Granted

KABUL - President Hamid Karzai has warned there might be no immunity from prosecution for foreign troops after 2014 if the insecurity in Afghanistan does not come to an end and the country's borders are not properly protected.

Karzai discussed the matter with visiting NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Thursday, saying that the Afghan people may not allow the government to allow the foreign soldiers this leniency if poor security continues, according to a presidential statement released Saturday.

Afghans might "not permit their government to grant immunity... if the war and insecurities continue in Afghanistan, Afghan borders are not protected, and the immunity for foreign forces comes on top of these issues", the statement said.

Karzai's stance was criticized by MPs on both sides of the fence.

Supporter of a foreign exemption rule, Daikundi MP Nasrullah Sadeqizada Nili said Saturday that the security problems cannot be blamed only on the foreigners and the failure to exempt the foreign soldiers may impact on NATO's mission in the country.

"All the burden of security should not be left to the foreigners. We have responsibility as well. These statements will affect NATO's mission," he said.

Herat MP Saleh Mohammad Saljuqi, who is against the exemption, saw Karzai's statement as a bid for more money, saying it should not be a matter of money.

"Any financial assurance should not be linked with exemption of law. There will not be a good outcome in the future if this is done so," said Saljuqi.

Some analysts have linked Karzai's statements to an attempt to push the US and NATO to pump more money into Afghanistan as a sweetener to allow the exemption.

In Iraq, the US pulled out all its troops after Baghdad refused to allow the soldiers to be exempt from local prosecution. (Tolo News)