Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said that the Taliban is a major reality in Afghanistan and that the group controls half of the country.
“The Taliban is a major reality in today’s Afghanistan. The Americans themselves say that the [Taliban] control 50 percent of the Afghan territory,” he told the Voice of America on Wednesday.
He has also backed Russia’s contacts with the group.
“They (Russia) talk to the Taliban,” Karzai said. “The U.S. also talks with the Taliban. Norway, Germany and other countries also talk to them.”
“Russia also has the right to hold talks with the Taliban,” he said.
Karzai had close relations with U.S. for most his term as president since 2001, when U.S. toppled the Taliban in Afghanistan.
However, he has repeatedly denounced U.S. actions in Afghanistan in recent years and in his latest remarks he vowed to oust U.S. after ‘mother of all bombs’ strike in the country.