Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Sunday accused the Taliban and the United States of working in concert to convince Afghans that violence will worsen if most foreign troops leave — an allegation the top American commander in Afghanistan rejected as "categorically false."
The U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan has found no evidence so far to support Afghan allegations of misconduct by American special forces in a strategic eastern province, the alliance's spokesman said on Monday.
Afghanistan's president on Sunday ordered all U.S. special forces to leave a strategically important eastern province within two weeks because of allegations that Afghans working with them are torturing and abusing other Afghans.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai is calling for all U.S. special operations forces to stop all activity in Wardak province in eastern Afghanistan immediately and leave entirely in two weeks after reports that the troops are "harassing, annoying, torturing and even murdering innocent people," according to an official statement.
The United Nations said Sunday that Afghan authorities were still torturing prisoners, such as hanging them by their wrists and beating them with cables, a year after the U.N. first documented the abuse and the Afghan government promised detention reform.
A top Afghan negotiator said Tuesday he hopes eight Taliban members freed by Pakistan will serve as peace mediators, describing Islamabad's move as a major step forward for Kabul's effort to enlist its neighbor's help in negotiating an end to its 11-year war.
Afghanistan's president accused U.S. forces of capturing and holding Afghans in violation of an agreement to turn over that responsibility to his forces, complicating a new round of security talks between the two countries.
The Afghan government blamed foreign spy agencies for a rising number of killings in which government soldiers and policemen have gunned down their international partners, and it ordered stricter vetting of recruits and screening of those in the 350,000-member Afghan security force.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Saturday that the United States failed to consult Afghan forces when calling in an airstrike that killed 18 civilians, and he warned that in the future his government will consider such actions as violating the country's pact with Washington.