Karzai made the extraordinary claim during an already difficult visit by the new US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.
Referring to a set of two recent suicide blasts which killed 19 people, Karzai claimed during a television speech that “The bombs that were detonated in Kabul and Khost were not a show of force, they were serving America.” He went on to say that the US was conducting daily talks with the Taliban, and that the group’s suicide bomb attacks enabled the foreign military forces in Afghanistan to justify their presence. “It is their slogan for 2014, scaring us that if the US is not here our people will be eliminated,” he said.
A joint press conference due to be held by Mr Karzai and Mr Hagel was cancelled on Sunday. US officials cited unspecified security concerns for the cancellation.
The Taliban themselves have claimed that they have not engaged in talks with the United States for a year. Mr Karzai has previously indicated that he does not believe this, and has insisted that his government must be involved in any negotiations. He has also been angered recently by fresh delays to the long-promised transfer of the controversial Bagram prison from US to Afghan control…