Afghanistan’s National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib, who addressed a ceremony at Hudson Institute in Washington DC, asked the United States to provide clarification on its long-term strategy and interests in Afghanistan.
As peace negotiations between the United States and Taliban continue this week in Qatar in an effort to end the nearly two decades of war in Afghanistan, Mohib warned that reaching an agreement with the Taliban without the government could amount to dishonoring the 9/11 victims and U.S. troops who lost their lives.
“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 asking for things, and they 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. “That has not been the case, they are still standing on what they want.”
“Their wish is for a total U.S. withdrawal and that continues to be their demand. But they are not willing to budge on their support of terrorist activity and terrorist groups. They can’t move away from their DNA,” Mohib said.
The Afghan NSA also 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 are 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.”
In a series of tweets, the U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan John Bass reacted toward the remarks of NSA Mohib.
“Americans and Afghans have stood shoulder to shoulder to fight terror, build better future for Afghanistan. We each have a sacred duty to honor our fallen heroes and citizens in everything we do,”
“For this American, Afghan corruption and misuse of equipment, funds, and other support provided by the American people dishonors the memory of our fallen,”
“So do any Afghans who put their personal or political interests ahead of the national interest and the opportunity right now to achieve the goal for which so many have sacrificed: peace in Afghanistan,” Bass tweeted.