WASHINGTON Afghan President Hamid Karzai, in a newspaper interview published Sunday, voiced his opposition to US done attacks in Pakistan, and said that he now realises that the Pakistanis are suffering more than Afghans due to terrorist violence afflicting the region. My nature is not one that appreciates military. Im not a pro-gun person, I dont like guns or airplanes, so I can never talk in favourable terms about planes that are shooting people or bombing people, so youll have to ask a more hardcore fellow, Im a soft-core fellow, he said in response to a question about drone attacks in Pakistan in the interview with The Washington Post. Asked what more should be done by the US to address insurgent sanctuaries in Pakistan, the Afghan leader said: This is the main problem in the war on terror. There was a time early on that the United States could work effectively on the sanctuaries, where there was full backing by the Afghan people, in this regard. It didnt happen. And now theyre addressing this problem by the drone attacks, and also by talking and continuing to engage with Pakistan. Sanctuaries (are) a problem. A serious problem. For Afghanistan, now also for Pakistan. I just hope that Afghanistan, the United States and Pakistan together will do all that we can together to address the problem. For the initial years, I was highly critical of Pakistan and their lack of action on the sanctuaries. Now ... I see Pakistan suffering more than we are in lots of ways, especially in the consequences of the violence that these sanctuaries and the militancy there. On the one hand, I sympathise with them and want to be closer to them and work together to address it. On the other hand, Id like to ask them to do more on the sanctuaries and for the United States to pay closer attention to this problem. Peace in Afghanistan will not come unless we address the question of sanctuaries and unless Afghanistan and Pakistan are on the best of terms as friends and neighbours and brothers, with America, present with us and among us. Karzai said the highly visible presence of US troops in Afghanistan is counterproductive and that Afghans have lost patience with the long-term presence of American soldiers. The time has come to reduce military operations, the president said. Its not desirable for the Afghan people either to have 100,000 or more foreign troops going around the country endlessly. The time has come to reduce military operations, Karzai was quoted as saying. The time has come to reduce the presence of, you know, boots in Afghanistan to reduce the intrusiveness into the daily Afghan life. Karzai said Afghan troops could be taking more responsibility for the countrys security and US anti-insurgent night-time capture-and-kill missions were aggravating citizens. The Afghan people dont like these raids - if there is any raid, it has to be done by the Afghan government within the Afghan laws, he said. An unidentified NATO military spokesman told the Post the alliance didnt see any alternatives. We understand President Karzais concerns, but we would not be as far along as we are pressuring the network had it not been for these very precision operations we do at night, the official said. I dont see any near-term alternative to this kind of operation. Karzais comments come as American officials are playing down the importance of July 2011 - the date President Barack Obama set to begin withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan - in favour of a combat mission ending in 2014, the Post noted. The Afghan president has placed himself squarely in favour of a lighter military footprint as the administration reviews the progress of the Afghan war and debate intensifies about the pace of the withdrawal. Karzai said he was speaking out not to criticise the United States but in the belief that candour could improve what he called a grudging relationship between the countries. He described his own deep scepticism with American policy in Afghanistan - from last years presidential election, which he said was manipulated by the US officials, to his conviction that government corruption has been caused by billions of American dollars funnelled to unaccountable contractors. He said Afghans have lost patience with the presence of American soldiers in their homes and armoured vehicles on their roads. But Karzai was emphatic that US troops must cease such operations, which he said violate the sanctity of Afghan homes and incite more people to join the insurgency. A senior Afghan official told the Post that Karzai had repeatedly criticised the raids in meetings with Gen David Petraeus, commander of US troops in Afghanistan, and that he is seeking veto power over the operations. The Afghan government does not have the type of legal arrangement that the Iraqi government has with US forces to approve particular military operations. The raids are a problem always. They were a problem then, they are a problem now. They have to go away, Karzai said. The Afghan people dont like these raids, if there is any raid it has to be done by the Afghan government within the Afghan laws. This is a continuing disagreement between us. Wed like to have a long-term relationship with America, a substantial relationship with America, thats what the Afghan people want. But wed like the Afghan countryside - villages, homes and towns - not to be so overwhelmed with the military presence. Life has to be seen as more normal, he added.