The remarks by the National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib on the peace efforts by the US chief negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad met with more reactions on Saturday, but this time some analysts supported his stance.
During his trip to Washington DC last week, Mohib at various public forums — during an appearance at a Washington DC- based think-tank and in an interaction with reporters — described the US’s talks with the Taliban as surrender discussion.
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.
Presidential candidate Shaida Mohammad Abdali labeled the remarks “emotional” and said such comments are not in favor of the country.
“Taking stances on behalf of the Afghan government should not be based on emotions but should be based on the national interests. During my 18 years of mission in government, I witnessed many sentimental stances of such kind. Today, we should learn a lesson from them,” said Abdali.
The office of presidential candidate Haneef Atmar said in a statement that Mohib’s remarks contradicted the peace efforts and an intra-Afghan dialogue.
“It not only was against the peace process and an intra-Afghan dialogue but revealed the sabotage and government’s face,” said Qadir Shah, a spokesman for Atmar’s office.
Some political analysts and MPs, however, supported Mohib’s remarks and said he revealed the realities on the ground about the peace talks.
“Mohib has revealed some realities, but due to disorders in Afghanistan, we cannot challenge with the Americans, because there are other enemies waiting for an opportunity,” university lecturer Ahmad Saeedi said.
“If the country and government and sovereignty belong to us, then at least, we should be counted. This was an objection to show that the Americans should not continue the (peace) talks in this way. And Americans’ misunderstanding from these remarks again shows their selfishness,” MP Zakaria Zakaria said.
The former US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Daniel Feldman, meanwhile, said that issues like this should not put a negative impact on bilateral ties.
Mohib’s remarks were sharply criticized by Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah on Friday who said government officials should be cautious while making comments on important matters.
The US Department of State summoned Mohib following his remarks and said that the remarks were kind of attack on Khalilzad as he represents the US secretary of state in his efforts for Afghan peace.
In a tweet on Saturday evening, Khalilzad said he is working closely with NATO and other partners of the US on Afghan peace.
“Working closely with @NATO and other partners and allies has been a priority from day one. We came together. We will coordinate adjustments in our presence together. And if we leave, we will leave together. Together for peace and security for #Afghanistan and for us all,” Khalilzad said.