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Karzai Issues New Plea For Pakistani Help Against Terrorism

President Karzai speaking to RFE/RL correspondents in Kabul on April 5 (RFE/RL) KABUL, April 5, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai today urged neighboring Pakistan to work more closely with Afghan security forces in the fight against terrorism.

Speaking in Kabul during an exclusive interview with RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan, Karzai said Afghanistan wants friendly relations with all of its neighbors.

"Most of Afghanistan's problems [with foreign support for terrorist acts] are along the border -- especially at the borders with our brethren country Pakistan," Karzai said. "A lot of attacks occur on both sides of that border. We hope that our brothers in Pakistan and the esteemed president of Pakistan -- President General Pervez Musharraf -- will give us a helping hand with this strong and essential fight against terrorism both in Afghanistan and in Pakistan."

Karzai's remarks come as U.S. diplomats in Islamabad seek a broader strategic partnership between the United States and Pakistan.

Pakistan and Afghanistan have exchanged accusations in recent months as each side questioned the other's commitment to combating attacks by Islamic militants and separatist fighters.

Helmand Province Governor Comments

Helmand Province Governor Comments

U.S. Marines operating in Helmand Province in 2002 (epa)

RULING A RESTIVE LAND: On February 12, RFE/RL Radio Free Afghanistan correspondent Jawaid Wafa spoke briefly with Helmand Province Governor MOHAMMAD DAOUD about the ongoing violence in his restive region on the border with Pakistan.

RFE/RL: Recently, there have been many clashes and attacks by insurgents in Helmand Province. What in your view facilitates these attacks, especially in Helmand?

Mohammad Daoud: This province has a 160-kilometer border with Pakistan's Baluchistan Province. In reality, armed people, armed terrorists, from the other side of the border cross the border into Helmand. They carry out attacks and return back. It is a serious problem in Helmand that within our borders there is neither tribal good will, nor are there are special military or security measures to prevent enemies from crossing back and forth.

RFE/RL: The attacks and clashes have not only been between government forces and insurgents. There have been various clashes in different parts of Helmand between police and purported drug smugglers. How do you explain this?

Daoud: Drug smugglers also use the border for their own purposes. They have opened markets on the border and process opium there. This is a serious problem along our border. We are in touch with our authorities on this problem.

RFE/RL: There are government border police patrol your border. What is their role in preventing illegal crossings?

Daoud: Along this 160-kilometer border, there are car routes, walking routes. We have border police, but unfortunately, either because of their own problems or because of weak administration, they have not been able to stop the crossing.


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