Afghan President Hamid Karzai has rejected U.S. criticism of his anti-drug program, called international help in the fight "half-hearted," and demanded greater control over U.S. military operations in his country.
Speaking on C-N-N on the eve of a White House meeting (Monday) with President Bush, Mr. Karzai also condemned the reported deaths of two Afghan prisoners in U.S. custody. He called for strict punishment for those who abuse detainees.
Mr. Karzai said at least 30 percent of his country's poppy fields have been destroyed and called on the international community to step up its own efforts instead of blaming the Afghans.
During an address in Boston Sunday, Mr. Karzai also expressed regret that, in his view, the world had abandoned Afghanistan at a critical time until the September 11th attacks on the United States.