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Afghan Leader

NEWS
December 8, 2012 | By David Zucchino, This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
KABUL, Afghanistan -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Saturday the suicide bombing that seriously wounded his nation's spy chief was planned in Pakistan, an accusation that further strained tensions between the neighboring countries. Karzai did not directly accuse the Pakistani government. He told reporters at the presidential palace that he intended to raise the issue with Pakistan. Afghan officials often accuse Pakistan of meddling in Afghanistan by supporting the Taliban and attempting to undercut the U.S.-backed government in Kabul.
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WORLD
February 17, 2012 | By Alex Rodriguez and Laura King, Los Angeles Times
Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Thursday sought to secure help from Pakistani leaders in facilitating peace talks with Pakistan-based Afghan Taliban leaders, while the militant group denied any interest in negotiating with an "impotent" administration. Karzai's visit to Islamabad, the Pakistani capital, came amid reports that he had said in an interview that the U.S. and Afghan governments had begun secret talks with the Afghan Taliban. In recent months, U.S. officials have been meeting with Taliban envoys to discuss the establishment of a Taliban office in the Persian Gulf state of Qatar.
WORLD
February 7, 2012 | By Laura King, Los Angeles Times
  On the face of it, President Hamid Karzai has every motive to do all he can to bring about talks with the Taliban. Instead, the Afghan leader is emerging as a prime impediment to urgent U.S. efforts to jump-start negotiations with the insurgents. Since the start of his second term in office, Karzai has repeatedly declared that his top priority is finding a political settlement to the bloody Afghan conflict and bringing the "disaffected brothers" back into the social and political fold.
WORLD
October 24, 2011 | By Laura King, Los Angeles Times
Parsing statements by President Hamid Karzai has become something of a parlor game in the Afghan capital. The Afghan leader's office sought Monday to distance him from his controversial remarks in a weekend television interview, in which he asserted that Afghanistan would side with Pakistan in a hypothetical war against the United States. The presidential palace said Karzai's comments to Pakistan's Geo TV, aired Saturday, had been misinterpreted. The remarks came toward the end of a lengthy interview conducted in English and Urdu, in which the Afghan leader repeatedly urged Pakistan to move against Islamic militants who take refuge on its soil, according to a transcript released by Karzai's office.
WORLD
October 6, 2011 | By Laura King, Los Angeles Times
For a beleaguered and increasingly isolated Afghan President Hamid Karzai, revelations of an alleged assassination plot hatched in Pakistan and involving one of his own bodyguards are another blow to the prospects for a deal to end the Afghan war. The Afghan government's accusation of a Pakistani link in the alleged assassination plot against the Afghan leader adds new tensions to a cross-border relationship already on edge. Lutfullah Mashal, a spokesman for Afghanistan's main intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Security, said the ringleaders of the assassination plot, an Egyptian and a Bangladeshi, were based in Pakistan's tribal areas.
NEWS
September 20, 2011 | By Christi Parsons
President Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai pledged Tuesday that the assassination of the head of the Afghanistan High Peace Council would not stop them from working toward a peaceful resolution to conflict in that country. But the death of former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani cast a dark shadow over the talks in New York, where Obama and Karzai were meeting for the first time since the U.S. announced its schedule for withdrawing military troops from Afghanistan. The meeting took place in the aftermath of what is believed to be a suicide attack on Rabbani, who had been working to negotiate an end to the ongoing war with the Taliban.
WORLD
July 18, 2011 | By Laura King, Los Angeles Times
A new U.S. commander, Gen. John Allen, formally took control of the war in Afghanistan on Monday, inheriting a nearly decade-long conflict that has cost the lives of at least 1,667 American troops. Allen succeeds Gen. David H. Petraeus, who is leaving to head the CIA. Petraeus had been in command for only a year, hastily taking the helm after President Obama fired Gen. Stanley McChrystal after Rolling Stone magazine reported intemperate comments by his staff about the administration's civilian leadership.
WORLD
July 5, 2011 | By Laura King, Los Angeles Times
As U.S. commanders prepare to bring home 10,000 troops from Afghanistan by year's end, the drawdown is calling fresh attention to the tangle of woes confronting the administration of Afghan President Hamid Karzai. For much of his second term, which got off to an acrimonious start in 2009 with a fraud-tainted election, the Afghan leader has seemingly lurched from one crisis to the next. But recent weeks have seen an unusual convergence of complex and, in some cases, long-festering problems.
WORLD
May 29, 2011 | By Laura King, Los Angeles Times
A new dispute over civilian deaths erupted Sunday when Afghan officials claimed an errant NATO airstrike had killed 14 people, women and children among them. Western military officials said the incident in Helmand province, which took place late Saturday, was under investigation. Provincial spokesman Daoud Ahmadi said the airstrike was in apparent retaliation for an insurgent attack against a U.S. Marine base in the district of Now Zad. But he said the compound that was hit contained residential structures.
WORLD
March 31, 2011 | By Laura King, Los Angeles Times
President Hamid Karzai on Wednesday denounced American soldiers who posed for gruesome pictures with Afghan victims of alleged "trophy" killings, calling the deaths cruel and tragic. Addressing the issue publicly for the first time since the graphic images first surfaced this month in the German news magazine Der Spiegel , and more subsequently were revealed by Rolling Stone magazine , the Afghan leader said the photos should stir international indignation — "if there is conscience left in the West.
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