A senior U.S. diplomat has told President Ashraf Ghani that U.S. officials will no longer deal with his national security adviser, quoting four knowledgeable sources, Reuters reported on Tuesday.
According to the report, the U.S. has taken the decision to end contact with Afghan NSA Hamdullah Mohib after he criticized the U.S. Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad for keeping Afghan government in the dark about the negotiations process with the Taliban.
The day after Mohib’s remarks David Hale, the U.S. undersecretary of state for political affairs on a Phone call told Afghan President Ashraf Ghani that Mohib would no longer be received in Washington and that U.S. civilian and military officials would not do business with him, the report said.
“Hale called Ghani and told him that Mohib is no longer welcome in D.C. The U.S. will not deal with him in Kabul or in D.C. anymore,” a former senior Afghan official has told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
The former Afghan official said he saw the move as an effort to compel Ghani to “oust” Mohib, who became the president’s national security adviser after serving as his envoy to Washington.
A second source, a congressional aide, agreed that pressuring Ghani to end contacts with Mohib was “one way of looking at this” because the State Department provides funding for the Afghan president’s national security council staff.
There was no official comment regarding the report by the U.S. State Department and Afghan Embassy in Washinton DC.
It comes as Mohib leveled a fierce attack on U.S. Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad’s conduct of the talks at the Hudson Institute on Wednesday in Washington DC, accusing the Afghan-born veteran U.S. diplomat of a lack of transparency.
He said that Khalilzad is keeping the “duly elected” Afghan government in dark and that in the latest round of talks in Doha, they were humiliated and made to wait in a hotel lobby.
“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.
He said the Afghan government was getting the information in bits and pieces.
“The last people to find out (about the peace talks) are us,” Mohib added.
He alleged that Khalilzad has personal ambition in Afghanistan.