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Kabul, Afghanistan • Afghan President Hamid Karzai said his country would side with its neighbor if the United States ever attacked Pakistan.
"God forbid, if ever there is a war between Pakistan and America, Afghanistan will stand by Pakistan," Karzai said in an interview with Pakistan's Geo television. "If Pakistan is attacked, and if the people of Pakistan need help, Afghanistan will be there with you.
"Afghanistan will never deceive its brother," he said.
Just a few days earlier, Karzai stood with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in Kabul, accusing Pakistan of giving refuge to Taliban insurgents who have been fighting his government.
There is growing concern in Kabul and Washington about Pakistan's role in the Afghan conflict.
Many hold Pakistan responsible for the war, because senior Taliban leaders are allegedly based in the Pakistani city of Quetta and insurgents have maintained strongholds along the border.
Clinton has called several times on Pakistan to crack down on insurgents.
In her address Thursday in Kabul, Clinton said a military solution is not possible and that both military operations and peace talks will be sought side by side.
Karzai on Thursday alleged that the Taliban "to a very, very great extent are controlled by establishments in Pakistan," so the proper authority for any peace talks is Pakistan.
In the television interview, Karzai repeated the comment, saying that Afghanistan "will talk to the Taliban only when we can find their address and phone number."
"Until they have an official representative, we will continue talking to Pakistan," he said.
Karzai seemed to have tried to appease Pakistani leadership. He said Afghanistan was grateful to Pakistan for welcoming and showing brotherhood to millions of Afghan refugees during the last 30 years of conflict.
He called for peace talks with militants in Pakistan, saying Pakistan itself fell victim and is now suffering from terrorism.
In the interview, Karzai asked international forces to stop raiding Afghan homes, close down foreign-operated prisons in the country and halt arbitrary arrests of Afghans.
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