Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, June 20th, 2019

Controversial Criticism over the US – Taliban Peace Process

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Controversial Criticism over the  US – Taliban Peace Process

According to multiple sources, the National Security Advisor, Hamdullah Mohib, used extraordinary words against the US – Taliban peace process. He described the US’s talks with the Taliban as surrender discussion at various public forums in Washington DC and in interaction with reporters. He blamed Khalilzad for trying to legitimize Taliban but delegitimize the government of Afghanistan.  Mohib also accused Khalilzad of deliberately withholding information about the talks from the Afghan government. “We think either -- Ambassador Khalilzad -- doesn’t know how to negotiate or in fact there may be other reasons behind what he is doing. What he is doing is not getting a deal that will result in peace in Afghanistan,” as quoted by CBS News. “The Taliban are not in a mood to negotiate with the Afghan government and there is no reason for them to do so. They’re gaining. Their sole aim, expectation and reasons in wanting to talk directly with the United States are to give themselves legitimacy.” “We don’t know what’s going on. We don’t have the kind of transparency that we should have,” Mohib told reporters at a news conference on Thursday. The Afghan government is not consulted and got the information in bits and pieces,” Mohib added.
He asked the United States to provide clarification on its long-term strategy and interests in Afghanistan. “It would be a shame if a deal was made with the terrorists who killed more than 5,400 Americans, and if they were given control of the lives of the Afghan people. That would be a win for those terrorists,” Mohib said. “It would also dishonor the one million Americans who have served in Afghanistan. ”In Mohib’s view, the Taliban can “absolutely not” be trusted to live up to any promises from its side of the bargain should a final agreement be inked. “How can you trust a terrorist group? The Taliban have been given everything they have asked for and have not delivered on anything since. Their demand was that they wanted to talk to the U.S. directly, one discussion and then they would switch to an inter-Afghan dialogue so that a deal could be reached,” he said. “They are still standing on what they want.”
It seems that Mohib’s travel was aimed to present Kabul’s concerns over the unclear peace process but he could not succeed to meet US NSA, John Bolton, owing to having busy schedule. He said that the Afghan people have serious concerns and fears about a process in pursuit of peace.“ Now we would ask the United States to provide clarification on what its long-term strategy and interests are in our country,” he said.  “I think what no one is prepared for any sudden changes to our partnerships that fall outside the boundaries of our guiding documents or that betray all both countries have invested to build over the past two decades.” 
These expressions followed with various serious reactions both in Afghanistan and Unite Sates. The US State Department official denied Mohib’s accusation Thursday. “Mr. Mohib’s comments are inaccurate and unhelpful, and we will be responding to them privately today,” the official said. “His comments do not in any way reflect the high level of U.S.-Afghan coordination on all matters involving peace in Afghanistan.” There were also reports about Mohib’s summon by the US State Department but has been denied by Afghan government officials. The reports about Mohib’s summon came after he had accused US special envoy for Afghanistan peace, Zalmay Khalilzad at a UN Security Council meeting of marginalizing Afghan government in the peace talks with Taliban for his personal interests. Tariq Arian, spokesman for the National Security Council said Friday that Mohib’s with officials at the US state department was already arranged as part of his US visit, adding that he was not summoned by the US State department.
On contrary, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah criticized National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib for questioning the efforts of the US Special Representative for Afghan Peace Ambassador for a peaceful settlement in the country.   Abdullah said the United States is a good strategic partner of Afghanistan and making remarks that would affect the partnership should be made cautiously.  “Our relations with our international partners require more caution and concentration while making remarks. Because it is clear that United States is one of our best international partners,” said Abdullah.
Din Mohammad Jurat, the former advisor to the National Security Council, as quoted the remarks is “irresponsible”. “You see such a mess. Recently Deputy State Secretary has summoned our National Security Advisor and asked him to take back his irresponsible remarks because it is insuring our (US) nation,” Jurat said. The US will likely choose another option after this, or maybe our neighbors misuse the situation and change Washington’s opinion regarding Afghanistan,” Erfan said.
Finally, he said in a twitter post that he concluded an eventful trip to Washington, DC. “I met with many friends of Afghanistan, including in the government, Congress, think tanks, and the media. I voiced our people’s legitimate concerns and made Afghanistan’s principled position clear,” he said.  He said the Afghan people and government value our partnership with the United States and are especially grateful for America’s generous support to our armed forces. Mohib added that as foundational partners, Afghans will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with the United States to fight terrorism in order to ensure our joint security interests, as well as in pursuit of an honest, transparent, and just peace. “In that regard, I would particularly caution the Afghan presidential hopefuls to exercise restraint and not end up on the wrong side of history. The country will judge you on how you treat your own, not what you do for others. Patriotism above all,” he concluded.

Mohammad Zahir Akbari is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at mohammadzahirakbari@gmail.com

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