KABUL -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Thursday said Afghanistan would not face a doomsday scenario in 2014, the year set for the final withdrawal of NATO and US troops fighting the Taliban insurgency.
In a press conference held at his fortified Kabul palace, Karzai also slammed the Western media for "promoting fear among the population."
The Western media is waging "a psychological war that, after the foreign soldiers withdraw in 2014, Afghanistan would face doomsday, or that a civil war would take place, or the Taliban would return," he told reporters.
"We know this propaganda is a psychological war and is meant to scare us that, if the foreigners are not here, there will be destruction," Karzai said.
"We have to let (the West) know that Afghanistan will not forget its national interest just because of some scary reports."
Furthermore, the Afghan government has said recent events have shown that many terrorist attacks in the country are actually being planned elsewhere -- as the government claims is the case with last month's Taliban attack on a U.S.-British joint military base in southern Afghanistan.
The fact that terrorism is being imported proves, he said, that the "war on terrorism" should not be focused on an Afghan populace that does not support such actions.
"(The) war on terrorism is not in Afghans' villages and towns and should not be followed in the houses of Afghan people. U.S. and NATO have to go and fight in the places where terrorism have roots," he told reporters.
Taliban militants have been waging a bloody insurgency in Afghanistan against Afghan and NATO troops and continue to target them.
"Terrorism sanctuaries are outside Afghanistan, but the U.S. is not ready to go and target terrorists there," Karzai said, referring to neighboring Pakistan, where Taliban insurgents are widely believed to have safe shelters.
Also in 2014, as NATO is set to end its combat mission, Karzai's term will also end, setting the ground for Afghanistan's third presidential election.
"(An) Election will definitely happen on time. Go and find your favorite candidate," he said. "My presidency, which will end in 2014, would lose its legitimacy if it were prolonged even a day."
Karzai also said that, at a tripartite meeting in New York last week between Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United Kingdom, he agreed to sign a strategic partnership with Pakistan.
But he required conditions for signing such a deal. He said his government will sign a strategic deal after "terrorism is rout out, peace is maintained, and a true mutual respect relation is established."