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Night Raids Deter Afghanistan From Pact With U.S., Karzai Says

Dec. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai said NATO-led night raids and home searches are preventing the country from signing a strategic partnership with the U.S.

“Arbitrary operations and home searches have been a serious problem between NATO and Afghanistan for several years,” Karzai reiterated yesterday, according to a statement from his office in the capital Kabul. “This has been one of the main obstacles for signing the Afghanistan-U.S. strategic partnership pact.”

The U.S.-led forces, without coordinating with their Afghan counterparts, conducted raids in three places causing casualties among local people, Mohammed Zaher Safi, appointed by Karzai to investigate the incidents, said in the statement. The pact, now being negotiated, is to pave the relationship between the two countries beyond 2014, when the U.S. plans to withdraw most of its 98,000 combat soldiers in the country.

NATO’s International Security Assistance Forces last week expressed support for the nighttime raids as the safest way to target militants across the country.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eltaf Najafizada in Kabul at enajafizada1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jim McDonald at jmcdonald8@bloomberg.net

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