Afghans won't be bullied into inking troop deal: Karzai

NEW DELHI (AFP) - Afghan President Hamid Karzai said on Friday he would not be rushed into signing a pact to allow US troops to stay on after next year, warning against attempts at "intimidation".

"Aggressive rhetoric won't work... We are not a nation that is known for giving into intimidation," added Karzai in an interview with India's NDTV network.

"We will sign it when we feel sure that our signature will bring peace and security," added Karzai ahead of talks in New Delhi with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Karzai, who is due to stand down after elections next year, initially endorsed the so-called Bilateral Security Agreement, which would allow 12,000 US soldiers to stay after 2014 when an American-led Nato force is due to depart and lays out future rules for foreign troops.

But he later said the agreement could only be signed after the presidential election in April, warning against a Nato presence if it just meant “more bombs and killings”.

The United States is hoping that India, which has close ties with Karzai, will use its influence to persuade him to sign the accord swiftly.

But the Afghan president criticised what he called “a barrage of propaganda” on the security pact and the consequences for Afghanistan if it is not signed swiftly.

“If we are friends, allies, we must be treated as friends and allies....

They need not attack us psychologically or weaken our resolve,” he said.