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Karzai: Afghanistan Will Never be a Puppet State

KABUL (AP) - Saying Afghanistan "will never be a puppet
state," President Hamid Karzai is warning
the international community against meddling in how his country
governs itself.
Karzai made the remarks at a news conference with NATO's
secretary-general. He said that he appreciates the work the U.S.
and other nations have done in the fight against terrorism and
reconstruction of Afghanistan, but foreign partners need to respect
and honor Afghanistan's independence.
Karzai faces re-election in August, at a time when his
government is battling a resurgent Taliban but also drawing
criticism from the U.S. and other Western nations as inefficient
and corrupt. He says it's not the job of the international
community to make proposals such as weakening the power of
Afghanistan's central government.
Meanwhile, there was a reminder of the nation's trouble earlier
in the day when a roadside blast hit a civilian vehicle in the
capital, wounding three people.

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