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Karzai Urges Taliban To Fight Enemies Of Afghanistan

Afghan President Hamid Karzai (file photo)
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has called on the Taliban to "turn their weapons" against those who "plot" against Afghanistan.

Speaking at a press conference on May 4, Karzai urged the militants to "stand with" Muhammad Qasim, an Afghan border policeman killed in a six-hour clash on the border with Pakistan earlier this week.

"On one side, Afghanistan is responsible for defending its soil but from the other side, Afghanistan is under attack from the side that uses the name of the Taliban," Karzai said.

"I want to repeatedly remind the Taliban to drop their weapons against Afghanistan's people and turn their shoulder and aim at where the hostility is coming from."

The incident on the Afghan-Pakistani frontier occurred over a border gate and checkpoint, recently installed by Pakistan near the Durand Line, a border drawn by the British in the 19th century.

Afghan officials said Afghan forces destroyed the border installations.

Karzai said Afghanistan "has never accepted" and "will never recognize" the Durand Line.

He said those behind such attacks seek to force Afghanistan to recognize the Durand Line.

He said those who attack Afghanistan "from the other side of the Durand Line" are against Afghanistan's progress and prosperity, and that they want to see Afghanistan "weak" and "disintegrated."

Both sides blamed each other for sparking the incident on the border in Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar Province. Pakistani officials said three of their soldiers were injured in the fighting, which ended early on May 2.

Kabul had repeatedly demanded that Islamabad remove the installations, saying they were on Afghan territory.

Pakistan views the Durand Line as an international border, which Afghanistan has consistently refused to recognize.
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