US is responsible for current Afghan mess, President Ghani says
Kabul, Aug 1 (EFE).- Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani Monday blamed the United States for the deteriorating security situation, saying that Washington abruptly decided to call back foreign troops from the war-ravaged country.
“The reason behind our current situation is that the decision (to withdraw troops) was taken abruptly,” Ghani said, presenting his security plan in a joint session of the Afghan parliament.
He said he told US President Joe Biden that he respected the decision to withdraw American soldiers but warned him of its consequences.
“I knew this decision will have some consequences and its responsibility will be put on the shoulders of Afghans,” the beleaguered Afghan president said.
Ghani said Afghanistan faced an “unprecedented aggression of terrorism,” and the Afghans were fighting against an alliance of terrorists, traffickers, and criminal organizations.
In their sweeping offensive after the US and NATO forces began their final phase of troops withdrawal on May 1, the Taliban made massive territorial gains in the last three months of heavy fighting.
The sudden withdrawal of foreign troops after 20 years of war left Afghan security in the hands of ill-trained and ill-equipped Afghan forces.
The insurgents captured 125 Afghan districts, seized critical border crossings, and are now building up increased military pressure on provincial capitals.
The Afghan president criticized the US-led peace process with the Taliban.
He said the process led by US Special Envoy for Afghan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, did not achieve peace but legitimized the Taliban while ignoring his government’s peace plans.
“A national and realistic process was replaced by a rushed and imported process based on raw and immature theories. Its foundation was made of pressure on the republic and destruction of the democracy,” Ghani said.
“This process created uncertainty, ambiguity and its outcome is the situation which we are faced with now.”
He said a lasting peace was still the top priority of the Afghan government.
He said the Taliban would not “believe in a just and lasting peace, unless we change the battlefield situation” in favor of the Afghan security forces.
He said his government was currently working on a six-month-long “clear security plan” for a stable Afghanistan.
“I want you to give us shoulder to work for a bright future for the country. Use your influence through your network of supporters to organize the people (in fight against the Taliban),” he said.
“We will come back stronger.” EFE