Afghan leaders give up on Pakistan, vow to work more closely with U.S. -- and India

The shift in Afghanistan’s policies emerged in a statement released by the presidential palace on Thursday after a meeting the night before of senior government officials, including the two vice presidents, the national security adviser and several former military commanders who are close advisers to President Hamid Karzai and who fought to push the Russians out of the country in the 1980s.

“Despite making repeated attempts in the past three years, including sending several letters to the Taliban to open negotiations in order to bring peace and stability to the country, our leaders, scholars, influential figures, elders, women and children, old and young are being martyred,” the statement said, referring to a string of assassinations this year, most recently the killing of Burhanuddin Rabbani, the chairman of the peace council…

One measure of Afghan frustration was the statement’s specific mention of the prospect of a strategic partnership with India, in addition to the United States and Europe. Pakistan considers India its archenemy, and by mentioning it, Afghanistan appeared to be positioning itself in opposition to Pakistan, despite their longtime relationship.