KABUL (PAN): An Afghan senator has hit back at US House of Representative Speaker Nancy Pelosi's remarks that denounced President Hamid Karzai as an 'unworthy partner' of the United States of America.

Mohammad Mohsin Hotak, a legislator southern Zabul province, angrily reacted to her statement on Sunday: "No foreign official reserves the right to level false allegations against Afghanistan or its president."

Echoing the views of several US parliamentarians opposed to the troop surge requested by top American commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal, Pelosi dubbed President Karzai an "unworthy partner" who did not deserve a big boost either in US troops or civilian aid.

A critic of deploying more US service-members to Afghanistan, she said in an interview with the National Public Radio (NPR) aired on Friday that there was not strong support among her fellow Democrats in Congress for "any big ramp-up of troops" to oppose resurgent Taliban forces.

"The president of Afghanistan has proven to be an unworthy partner. We cannot fund a mission where we don't have a reliable partner and where whatever civilian investments we want to make, which are so necessary, will be diverted for a corrupt purpose," Pelosi told NPR News' Morning Edition.

In response to her blistering attack, Senator Hotak alleged US authorities were divided in their views of Afghanistan. The viewpoints of the US president, and defence and foreign secretaries were starkly different from Nancy Pelosi's on the Afghan issue, he added.

Hotak also slammed British Foreign Secretary David Miliband's interview with the Guardian, in which he said the Afghan government would collapse like a house of cards if NATO troops withdrew from the war-crippled country.

As he told David Miliband not to refrain from making such statements in future, Upper House Chairman Sibghatullah Mujaddedi said everyone had the right to voice one's opinion and that "we cannot stop someone talking."



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