KABUL: The United States and its allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) came to Afghanistan in the name of fighting terrorism and extremism and to bring stability to Afghanistan, but they are leaving nearly 20 years later after they failed at both and with an attempt to shift the burden to the Afghan people, Afghanistan’s former president Hamid Karzai said.
In an exclusive interview with the Global Times, Karzai said the US and its allies cannot be absolved of their responsibilities in Afghanistan.
ON THEIR OWN Afghanistan special forces team poses with the people they rescued from the hands of Taliban rebels last June 26, 2021 in Baghlan province. Effective July 2021, all military operations in the country will be conducted by the Afghanistan military and police due to the withdrawal of US forces. GLOBAL TIMES PHOTO
The former president agreed that it is the responsibility of the Afghan people to provide security for their country and to unite in the name of peace, but “it is also the responsibility of those countries, especially the United States, who came into Afghanistan in the name of bringing peace and stability.”
US President Joe Biden declared in April that he would withdraw the remaining US troops from the “forever war” in Afghanistan, saying the US has long ago accomplished its main mission of denying terrorists a haven in the country.
But the former Afghan president said, “[I]t’s clearly turning out that the United States has failed.” “Not only did stability not come, conflict did not end, and new terrorist groups emerged,” Karzai noted.
Karzai told the Associated Press on June 20 that the US’ legacy is a war-ravaged nation in “total disgrace and disaster.” “We recognize as Afghans all our failures, but what about the bigger forces and powers who came here for exactly that purpose? Where are they leaving us now?” he asked and answered: “In total disgrace and disaster.”
He told the Global Times that the “failure by the US and its allies is now their responsibility to explain to the Afghan people,” and the Afghan people “would like the US to leave Afghanistan responsibly.”
Since the US announced its complete withdrawal plan from war-torn Afghanistan by September, Afghanistan has witnessed a surge in violence amid the US troops’ pullout from the region.
Karzai said, what is needed is the understanding and cooperation of neighbors and major global powers.
He said China can play a very significant role, especially “trying for the betterment of relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan and for working toward a relationship between the two countries” that is based on “civilized interaction.”
Karzai spoke highly of China’s role as “a very constructive player for peace and stability of Afghanistan.” He said the Afghan people really want China to continue to contribute to Afghanistan’s peace by creating a platform of talks on its own initiative in Beijing and also for the joint exercise of Troika of China, Russia and Pakistan.