SHAFAQNA- Former Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai (2004-2014) in an exclusive interview with Shafaqna has shared his views about Afghanistan’s sovereignty, foreign interference, the role of the Taliban in Afghan-Afghan peace talks and the emergence of ISIS or Daesh terror group in the country. The former president who gave his seat to current leader Ashraf Ghani in 2014 believes Afghans should refuse foreign dictates when it comes to their own affairs and national interests.
Shafaqna- What do you think about the problems the Afghan nation faces currently? Where do they stem from and what are their solutions?
Karzai- In order to solve Afghanistan’s problems all Afghans should give up on their differences and do their best to bring back security. Insecurity, which is to the benefit of foreigners, is killing Afghans in masses on daily basis. We need to join hands and invite our Taliban brothers to sit and talk in our own country and take Afghanistan to the road of progress and security. Both of we -that sit here in Kabul and those who incite Taliban- should be aware that we are held by the ominous claws of colonialism and foreign interference. Our country will not get secure and our people will not see the end of this daily massacre as long as we do not rid ourselves from the control of colonialists and foreigners.
“Kabul government has to defend Afghanistan’s soil on behalf of Afghan people”
Shafaqna- What are your personal views about the national unity government? Do you think the current situation is required by our time or those who are in power did not do enough?
Karzai- No, it is not related to this specific timeframe, we as Afghans have the duty to defend our land. We have to prevent foreign powers from being cruel towards our people, following colonial methods or creating rift among us. The Afghan government on behalf of this nation has to defend Afghanistan’s sovereignty and security and we hope it does so.
Shafaqna- Do you think the national unity government is performing its tasks thoroughly or shortcomings persist?
Karzai- I do not intend to criticize the government but I wish to see all Afghans hand in hand save themselves from the brink. We are willing to help the current government and save the country but they have to listen to what Afghan people want and consult with them, too. We should not take foreigners into consideration (in our decision-making process) we have to put the interests of Afghan people as our first and foremost priority.
“Taliban see Americans as the real reason for war in Afghanistan”
Shafaqna- Why the Taliban agreed to hold talks with the United States while they still refuse to negotiate with the central government in Kabul?
Karzai- Taliban view the United States as the main reason behind the current war and therefore the party they have to talk with. They even tried it before. Nevertheless, I personally think the problems -either the presence of US forces or Pakistan’s meddling, etc.- will be resolved when us Afghans take matters into our own hands and make national decisions based on the will of Afghanistan’s people. We as people of Afghanistan should keep relations with other countries specially the United States but we have to press ahead as a unified entity.
“Regional cooperation with US harmed following emergence of ISIS in Afghanistan”
Shafaqna- Some media outlets had spread rumors about Russia and Iran’s plan to fan insecurity in Afghanistan. What do you think (about such rumors?)
Karzai- American propagandists usually make such claims. Both Iran and Russia were America’s partners in its plans for Afghanistan. Since 2001 and the Bonn Conference Iran, Russia, China, India and many countries have been cooperating with the US and that cooperation continued until recently, but their partnership harmed with the emergence of ISIS in Afghanistan, where the group began terrorist attacks. ISIS was not only killing Afghan people but also turned into a threat to countries on the other side of our border. Signs that outside forces are supporting Daesh terrorists have worried Iran, Russia, and even other regional countries, so they began expressing their concerns, that said in return triggered anti-Iran, anti-Russia propaganda.
Shafaqna- ISIS assumed a weak group following its emergence in Afghanistan, but the terror group later increased its attacks on the defenseless people. What do you think? Is ISIS weak in Afghanistan?
Karzai- No, ISIS (is not weak), they have committed massacre against our nation and fueled sectarian disunity. ISIS is a disunifying factor that acts against Afghanistan’s national unity. It was created to kill and dismantle. Some weeks ago they massacred our youngsters in an educational facility in west of Kabul. It was a crime against humanity and Muslims. What did it mean other than increasing public panic? ISIS has already committed crimes in almost all regions across Afghanistan. Who are they? Where did they come from? What animosity do they have with the people of Afghanistan? We can conclude that they are doing it for an outside force. It is very clear. Therefore, I have to state that although it is getting late “all is well that ends best” so even now we have to act through Afghan national resolve and save our country. We have no other way but to make our own decisions.
Shafaqna- There are also rumors that some elements within Afghanistan’s government back up ISIS. What is your take?
Karzai- I have no idea about the government’s response, I personally believe ISIS is a forced created by the outsiders to be used inside Afghanistan.
This interview is originally published in Shafaqna Afghanistan and translated by Shafaqna English.
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