By David Blair
February 6, 2008
Britain’s troubled relations with Afghanistan’s government have worsened with the disclosure that London had secretly planned to build training camps for former Taliban fighters.
The Afghan authorities denied any knowledge of the scheme to rehabilitate gunmen who have defected from the Taliban in Helmand province, a key opium-growing region. .
Officials said this was another example of Britain undermining President Hamid Karzai’s authority.
Two Western diplomats, one working for the United Nations and the other serving the European Union, were asked to leave Afghanistan in December after they reportedly held direct talks with Taliban commanders without Mr. Karzai’s official permission.