Afghan President Threatens to Join the Taliban

Under pressure, Karzai becomes increasingly erratic
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 5, 2010 4:44 PM CDT
Afghan President Threatens to Join the Taliban
Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks to locals during a shura, in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, Sunday April 4, 2010.   (AP Photo/Golnar Motevalli, Pool)

Hamid Karzai has told Afghan lawmakers he will join the Taliban if his western backers kept pushing him to reform. The legislators said the Afghan president's comments shouldn't be taken at face value—he was pandering to pro-Taliban members of parliament, and he seems unconcerned about losing western support. The remarks are characteristic of his increasingly erratic behavior as he struggles to maintain his grip on power.

The Obama administration voiced disappointment with Karzai's outburst. "On behalf of the American people, we're frustrated with the remarks," Robert Gibbs said. Karzai told Afghan lawmakers that he explained his comments to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton this weekend, the AP reports.
(More Hamid Karzai stories.)

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