updated 9/20/2005 11:18:50 AM ET 2005-09-20T15:18:50

President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday called for a new approach to battle militants in Afghanistan, saying airstrikes are no longer effective and that U.S.-led coalition forces should focus on terrorist bases and their support.

Karzai also demanded an immediate end to foreign troops searching people's homes without his government's authorization.

"I don't think there is a big need for military activity in Afghanistan anymore," he told reporters in Kabul. "The nature of the war on terrorism in Afghanistan has changed now.

"No coalition forces should go to Afghan homes without the authorization of the Afghan government. .... The use of air power is something that may not be very effective now."

Focus on Pakistan?
As part of a new approach, Karzai said foreign governments should "concentrate on where terrorists are trained, on their bases, on the supply to them, on the money coming to them" -- a veiled reference to alleged support that the militants get from neighboring Pakistan.

Afghan officials have repeatedly accused Pakistan of aiding Taliban rebels and other militants, a charge Islamabad vehemently denies.

Karzai's comments came amid the biggest resurgence in Taliban violence since the hard-line regime was ousted in 2001. More than 1,200 people have been killed in the past six months -- many of them suspected rebels slain in coalition airstrikes, according to information from Afghan and U.S. officials.

The country held legislative elections Sunday, the final step toward democracy on a path laid out in 2001.

'More fighting ahead'
Just hours before Karzai spoke, coalition commander Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry warned that he expected "more fighting in the weeks ahead."

"We are staying on the offensive against the enemies of Afghanistan, and we will continue that process throughout the fall and throughout the winter," Eikenberry told journalists.

Karzai played down the militant threat.

"We do not think a serious terrorist challenge is emanating from Afghanistan," he said.

Karzai did not specify whether he was referring to a threat from al-Qaida terrorists or Taliban rebels -- or both.

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