Fresh off of signing last week’s security pact with President Obama, which will keep US occupation forces in Afghanistan through 2024, Afghan President Hamid Karzai is warning that the growing number of civilian deaths in NATO attacks could undermine the deal.
“If the lives of Afghan people are not safe, the signing of the strategic partnership has no meaning,” Karzai said in a statement. A number of US air strikes have killed civilians in the past few days.
In the statement, Karzai reiterated his long-standing demand that NATO stop launching air strikes against populated areas, and to stop bombing homes when civilians could be inside. NATO has repeatedly ruled out making this change.
And while there was some “give” by the US on the unpopular night raids on civilian homes, there is no indication that the 2024 pact actually includes any promises to curb air strikes in any way, and officials have suggested it will be business as usual when it goes into effect in 2015.