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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 September 2005, 15:58 GMT 16:58 UK
Karzai renews terror rethink plea
President Karzai
President Karzai's remarks followed Sunday's elections
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has been explaining his call for America to rethink its offensive military strategy in Afghanistan.

He told journalists in the capital, Kabul, that "the nature of the war on terror in Afghanistan" had now changed.

"I don't think there is a big need for military activity in Afghanistan any more," he said.

And he said there should be an end to house searches by foreign forces unless authorised by his government.

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Mr Karzai was responding to questions about an interview he gave last week to the BBC in which he said the US needed a new approach to fighting terror in the country.

"The use of air power is something that may not be very effective now."

House searches by US-led troops have been deeply unpopular with many Afghans.

"No coalition forces should go to Afghan homes without the authorization of the Afghan government," he said.

Offensive operations

President Karzai's renewed call for a change in approach comes after the country's landmark parliamentary elections on Sunday.

These were the last step towards the restoration of peace and democracy agreed in the Bonn agreement in 2001.

"Afghanistan now has a constitution, a president, a parliament and a nation fully participating in its destiny," President Karzai said.

"We do not think there is a serious terrorism challenge emanating in Afghanistan."

The US has about 18,000 troops fighting remnants of the Taleban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

There are also more than 12,000 other foreign troops as part of the Nato-led International Security Assistance Forces (Isaf).

Isaf provides security in Kabul and a few other provinces but has refused to take a role in offensive military operations.


SEE ALSO:
Afghan role vexes Nato ministers
14 Sep 05 |  South Asia
Karzai urges terror fight rethink
13 Sep 05 |  South Asia
Afghan election count under way
20 Sep 05 |  South Asia



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