Afghan president seeks to ally fears of post-2014 chaos

KABUL Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:26pm IST

Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai speaks during the Afghanistan National Industrial Exhibition in Kabul November 27, 2012. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai speaks during the Afghanistan National Industrial Exhibition in Kabul November 27, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Mohammad Ismail

Related Topics

Rajalakshmi (C), 28, smiles after winning the Miss Wheelchair India beauty pageant in Mumbai November 26, 2014. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Miss Wheelchair India

Seven women from across India participated in the country's second wheelchair beauty pageant, which aims to open doors for the wheelchair-bound in modelling, film and television, according to organisers  Slideshow 

KABUL (Reuters) - Afghan President Hamid Karzai projected a rosier future for his country on Tuesday and sought to quell "propaganda" of a possible descent into chaos once most international troops withdraw by the end of 2014.

In a conference convened to promote Afghanistan's industry beyond 2014, Karzai hailed the achievements his country had made in the decade since the Taliban government was toppled and accused foreign media of alarming the Afghan people.

"Afghanistan has become more stable and progressive than in the past," Karzai told the gathering of influential Afghan figures at a Loya Jirga tent in the capital, Kabul.

"Our country, from what we had 10 years ago and what we see today, thanks to God, has moved forward very fast."

He added: "The year 2014 is only in our minds because Western media are focusing on this ... Brothers and sisters, remove (this negative view) of Afghanistan's future from your mind."

Karzai's second term in office will expire in the first half of 2014, before the scheduled withdrawal of most troops from the NATO-led coalition. Foreign military are currently training the 350,000-strong Afghan security forces, who will be responsible for security once they leave.

Karzai's government is currently engaged in thorny bilateral talks on a security pact detailing the role the United States would play in Afghanistan after the pullout.

The negotiations are complicated by a number of contentious issues, such as how many of the 66,000 U.S. troops would remain on Afghan soil and whether they would have immunity from prosecution under local laws.

Karzai has recently taken a tough line over what he calls illegal detentions by U.S. forces and has demanded the transfer of all convicted prisoners to Afghan control and the release of dozens of inmates held without charge.

Alluding to the talks, he took a swipe at the United States and accused it of using the media to weaken the Afghan government's position in the negotiations.

"They look for their own benefits and we look for ours. They have powerful media and want to put pressure on us." (Reporting by Mirawais Harooni; Editing by Martin Petty)

FILED UNDER:

Reuters Showcase

Kashmir Attack

Kashmir Attack

Ten dead in Kashmir's worst militant attack in more than a year.  Full Article 

New Twist

New Twist

CBI says girls found hanging from tree in Badaun killed themselves.  Full Article 

Bird Flu Strain

Bird Flu Strain

Bird flu outbreak in India caused by strain humans can contract - OIE.  Full Article 

Cricketing Tragedy

Cricketing Tragedy

A sport left heartbroken by death of Hughes  Full Article 

Reuters Poll

Reuters Poll

GDP growth to slow to 5.1 pct, but no rate cut yet - Reuters Poll.  Full Article 

Racial Unrest

Racial Unrest

Protests in Ferguson, elsewhere dwindle after two nights of unrest.  Full Article 

Suicide Blast

Suicide Blast

Suicide bomber kills five in attack on British embassy car in Kabul - officials.  Full Article 

A Minute With: Nandita Das

A Minute With: Nandita Das

A telephone interview with actress Nandita Das.  Full Article 

Jamini Roy

Jamini Roy

Photo Gallery – Bengali household name Jamini Roy’s paintings  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage