Afghan President Hamid Karzai said his government had initiated a peace process with the rebels to stop the bloodshed of his countrymen. "No one will even kill insects in such large numbers as Afghans are being killed on a daily basis," Karzai told a group of journalists in Kabul. The president said media could play a significant role in exposing the hidden hand behind violence and insecurity in Afghanistan. He asked journalists to help make the reconciliation effort a success. "We have high expectations of tribal elders, religious scholars and journalists in promoting national unity," Karzai added. "Afghanistan is currently passing through an important phase when strategic talks with the US and joint peace efforts with Pakistan are underway," he remarked. However, the president wondered why some people in Kabul were against peace in Afghanistan. "I am surprised when I hear voices in opposition of peacemaking. We want peace, friendly relations with neighbours and a legal presence of US forces." He said Afghanistan's relations with the international community should be based on give and take. "The Afghan nation is strong, but its government is weak, which needed to be strengthened." Referring to the proposed US military bases in Afghanistan, Karzai said it was a sensitive issue. "It is not only for Afghanistan to decide on US bases; it is a regional issue." The president said a hot debate with the US was expected over the issue because the Afghan government had presented tough conditions. He said no decision had so far been taken in this regard.