© Sputnik / Alexandr Graschenkov
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani stated that the army could not operate for even six months without US support. The Afghan leader also noted that there were over twenty terrorist organizations operating in his country. Radio Sputnik discussed Ghani’s statement with Aimal Faizi, journalist and columnist, who served as the spokesperson of Hamid Karzai.
Aimal Faizi: President Ashraf Ghani has been trying to organize the US war in Afghanistan. He has been promoting the US war in Afghanistan. This is the war which is not ours. His recent statement, stating that the Afghan army will not be able to operate even for six months without the US support for me is an Afghan mode of the US narrative of fear and hope which is telling to the Afghan people that look, there are more than twenty terrorist groups and, as you mentioned that earlier in your report there is more terrorism in Afghanistan. However, there is hope and the hope is that the US is there and that the US is supporting the Afghan government and the Afghan armed forces. So, basically, this statement is more of a president which is trying to legitimize the US war in Afghanistan and the US equation in Afghanistan.
Sputnik: The US presence has been in Afghanistan for so many years now. Has there really been a change in the effect that presence has had over the years? What do you think is actually going on?
Aimal Faizi: Well, what’s going on in Afghanistan is actually showing the contradiction in the US war against terror. We have seen the intensification of the war in Afghanistan since the establishment of the new Afghan government in 2014 and there is a rising number of civilian casualties. There is more war in Afghanistan and the war is brought into the Afghan homes and villages. There is no less terrorism than before. There is widespread insecurity in the country, not only in the countryside but even in big cities and the capital, Kabul, so the US war in Afghanistan has not brought any security to the country. It’s the opposite. It has increased the insecurity in Afghanistan and there is widespread insecurity in Afghanistan. The victims of this war are only the Afghan people.
Sputnik: And so what is necessary? Is it necessary that the US withdraw or change their strategy? If they should change their strategy, what should they be focusing on?
Aimal Faizi: What the Afghan people want is that the United States’ international community should put their hands together and work together. The United States should work in cooperation with written powers like Russia, like China, like Iran and India in order to bring peace and stability to Afghanistan. Without rational cooperation there will be no military solution to the problem in Afghanistan.
Sputnik: If we are not talking about the military solution, what kinds of solutions are needed? Do we need financial solutions? Do we need to increase the level of education and increase infrastructure and the level of living for the people in order to give them an option to terrorism?
Aimal Faizi: Well, there should be clear definition for the enemy and for the war in Afghanistan first of all. If we believe that the war in Afghanistan is the war imposed upon the Afghan people, it’s a war which has its supporting system operating out of Afghanistan. Then there should be unity of action between the United States and the regional powers. The United States should work with regional countries to press Pakistan, to stop using terrorism as a tool of foreign policy. Secondly, there is a very big mistrust in the region, the military presence has not resulted a decrease of terrorism and violence in Afghanistan. Therefore, this mistrust has to be ended.
Sputnik: You talk about defining the enemy, now in the eyes of the Afghani people who have suffered so much from this war already, who precisely is the enemy?
Aimal Faizi: In Afghanistan we strongly believe that this is the war which is the war for foreign interest in our country. Our country is being used by foreign powers.
Sputnik: Can you name names?
Aimal Faizi: We can see that the strong player present in Afghanistan is the United States. It’s the war which is being supported by Pakistan, by terrorist groups which are openly operating in Pakistan and the terrorists are being sent by there. In the last sixteen years the US has been unable to press Pakistan in ending its policy of supporting terrorism in Afghanistan.
Sputnik: Recently President Trump has said he is going to be stopping funding to Pakistan; do you think it will have any effect on Pakistan’s position on Afghanistan?
Aimal Faizi: Absolutely not. I don’t believe that the Pakistani government will stop it, its support for terrorist groups not only in Afghanistan but the region. The reason is that the United States needs Pakistan because of its war in Afghanistan and for its strategic objectives in the region. Pakistan has been a partner for so many years and this partnership is still there. What President Trump has said recently is more of a bluff not really a policy. I don’t see any strategic change in Washington vis-à-vis Pakistan and its support for terrorism in Afghanistan and in the region.