A day after Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf accused his Afghan counterpart of not wanting to confront the ground reality in his country, it was the turn of Hamid Karzai, who slammed the former for 'not doing enough' to stop some madrassas in Pakistan from breeding extremists.
Karzai's remarks in an interview to CNN, asserting that the use of extremism as an 'instrument of national policy' is not in the best interests of Pakistan, came just ahead of the Pakistan-US-Afghanistan dinner meeting at the White House.
"He is right to say that I know the facts (about what is happening in Afghanistan). I indeed know the facts, but I also know a lot of facts in Pakistan. And that is why I am pleading with President Musharraf that, for the sake of security for all of us and for our allies, it is extremely important to place serious attention and take action against some of the places called madrassas that are not madrassas, but are training extremists full of hatred for the rest of the world," Karzai said.
Karzai argued that Musharraf was not doing enough at all to stop that kind of religious training and that the "sanctuary" for extremists inside Pakistan will have to go. "Not doing enough at all and I want all of us to take more action," he said.
"If on the one hand Afghan people are asking for more schools, better education, more help, they cannot be ones to destroy themselves. Somebody else must be doing it and that someone else is the sanctuary in Pakistan to terrorists. That sanctuary has to go," he emphasised.
On Musharraf's deal with tribal leaders in North Waziristan, he said although the whole thing does not 'look nice' it will have to be given some time. But Karzai maintained that the deal is with the Taliban and some tribal chiefs.
"I read the deal in detail on Wednesday again before I came to this interview. The deal clearly says it is with the Taliban and some tribal chiefs," he said, quoting a report, which said that since the accord was signed, there has been an increase of 300 per cent in attacks across the border into Afghanistan.
"So at this point, it doesn't look nice. But let's give it some time. Let's see as to how it will develop." He said.
"I am not very sure it is good for us, because the people that they have signed a deal with in Pakistan are those who have been killing the Pashtun tribal chiefs in Pakistan, are those who have been killing the secular elements in Pakistan," the Afghan leader maintained.
Karzai reiterated that the leader of the Taliban Mullah Omar was in Quetta, Pakistan. "The information that we have in Afghanistan -- Mullah Omar went, right around the time of the anti-terror operation in October of 2001, away from Afghanistan. And ever since, he has been in Pakistan, and in Quetta. That is where he is. Now, we are not trying to blame Pakistan. We are not trying to blame President Musharraf. We are simply seeking cooperation."
"Over the years, they were trained in Pakistan at those madrassas. They were given resources in Pakistan...we are trying to tell them that what they may perceive as in their interest -- that is, the use of extremism within their country and outside of their country as an instrument of policy -- is not good for them," the Afghan leader said.
Meanwhile, in an interview on Canada's public broadcaster, Musharraf said Karzai is more concerned with himself than his own country. Musharraf criticised Karzai while acknowledging to CBC News the difficulties in forging an effective partnership with the Afghan leader.
"We should work together, but I am afraid he is not being honest about everything," said Musharraf in interview aired late Tuesday night. "He is concerned more about himself than about Afghanistan."
Musharraf said as a Pashtun, Karzai should understand the conflicting loyalties of the people located near either side of the border and that there are Taliban members, including Mullah Omar, on the Afghanistan side of the border. Karzai has said Omar is in Pakistan.