Afghan President Hamid Karzai has reportedly threatened to join the Taliban if he continues to come under “outside pressure” to reform, a media report said Tuesday.
Karzai made the unusual comments at a closed-door meeting Saturday with select lawmakers, just days after kicking up a diplomatic row with remarks alleging foreigners were behind the fraud in the 2009 disputed elections, the China Daily website reported.
“He (Karzai) said that ‘if I come under foreign pressure, I might join the Taliban’,” said Farooq Marenai, who represents the eastern province of Nangarhar.
Marenai said Karzai appeared nervous and repeatedly demanded to know why parliament last week rejected legal reforms that would have strengthened the president’s authority over the country’s electoral institutions.
Two other lawmakers said Karzai twice raised the threat to join the insurgency.
The lawmakers, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Karzai dismissed concerns over possible damage his comments had caused to relations with the US.
The Taliban has become increasingly aggressive in Afghanistan amid reports that the US was preparing to pull out after a Pakistan-brokered deal with the “good Taliban”.