Karzai Denies Plan to Block 2014 Election

Says he won't be clinging to power


Afghan President Hamid Karzai denied Thursday that he intends to stay in power by blocking presidential elections set in 2014, and he accused NATO and the United States of failing to equip the Afghan armed forces adequately to counter cross-border attacks from Pakistan.

Karzai, who has held power since U.S.-backed Afghan forces drove the radical Islamist Taliban movement from Kabul in 2001, is barred by the Afghan constitution from running for president again when his second term ends in 2014, a critical year when all foreign combat troops are scheduled to withdraw.