Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, April 19th, 2021

Karzai Calls on Taliban to Embrace The ‘New Afghanistan’

Karzai Calls on Taliban to Embrace The ‘New Afghanistan’

KABUL - As the May 1 deadline for the US troop withdrawal nears, and efforts to secure a peace deal are ramped up, former Afghan president Hamid Karzai said the country is asking the Taliban to embrace today’s Afghanistan, a progressive modern Republic with democratic institutions.
In an interview with TRT World, on Monday, Karzai said: “We (Afghans) are asking the Taliban to become [open to progress]; we have examples of Muslim countries that are doing extremely well, that are deeply Muslim, deeply believing, yet very progressive, quite in touch with the rest of the world, quite in competition positively with the rest of the world.”
“Turkey is one such example and perhaps the best example. Look at the mosques in Turkey, it’s full of people when the prayer time comes, and look at the modernity and the industrial and cultural and economic output that Turkey gives to itself and to the rest of the world. It is a great model for Afghanistan.”
“We also have other examples in the Muslim world but the best for us is Turkey. We have Indonesia, we have Malaysia, we have others therefore yes it is possible for a Muslim individual for a Muslim society to be deeply believing, practicing Muslim and yet progressive, enlightened and futuristically oriented.”
On the issue of the withdrawal of US and foreign troops by May 1, or an extension of their stay, Karzai said this must be carried out in a responsible manner so as to make sure it is done in coordination with major powers and countries in the region in order to ensure peace in Afghanistan.
Karzai said: “The US withdrawal or staying in Afghanistan beyond May 1 must be responsible in both cases; if they want to withdraw that withdrawal must be responsible in the sense that it must make sure that Afghanistan is peaceful and that it is done in a broader understanding with major powers and the countries in the region so all together make Afghanistan a place of cooperation rather than competition.”
“Second if they want to stay beyond May 1 that too has to be responsible. The United States cannot be staying in Afghanistan that is in conflict; No!”
On the issue of the upcoming US-proposed peace summit in Turkey, Karzai said he has “tremendous hopes. I’m sure Turkey will do all to make certain and certain that the Afghan talks in Turkey, the intra-Afghan talks in Turkey are successful in bringing peace to Afghanistan. That trust we have in Turkey.”
“Holding peace talks in Turkey is a great opportunity for a long term solution,” Karzai said.
In conclusion Karzai said he was confident in the current process and that peace would come to Afghanistan – especially as it was the “will of the Afghan people” to live in peace. (ATN)