Afghan politicians criticize Karzai's anti-West comments

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
April 5, 2010 09:49

KABUL — Afghan President Hamid Karzai's scathing attack on the West for its role in Afghanistan drew criticism from Afghan politicians on Saturday after the White House described his remarks as "genuinely troubling."

Despite Karzai's attempt at damage control, including a telephone conversation Saturday with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, his allegations laid bare the growing mistrust between the Afghan government and its international partners as the United States and NATO ramp up troop levels to try to turn back the Taliban.

Karzai's speech Thursday also heightened an ongoing political power struggle between Karzai and an increasingly independent-minded parliament, which has refused to confirm nearly half of his Cabinet nominees because they were allegedly incompetent, corrupt or too weak to resist pressure from powerful people.

During the speech, Karzai lashed out against the UN and the international community, accusing them of perpetrating a "vast fraud" in last year's presidential election as part of a conspiracy to deny him re-election or tarnish his victory.


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