Former diplomats urge support to peace and stability in Afghanistan

Statesman Report

ISLAMABAD: Senior former diplomats urged the international community to support peace and stability in the war-torn Afghanistan. They were speaking at a seminar on the post-Taliban takeover situation in Afghanistan organized by the Institute of Regional Studies.

Former foreign secretary Ambassador Tariq Fatemi was of the view that the prospects of peace and stability in Afghanistan offered tremendous opportunities to Pakistan. He cautioned, however, that the opportunities were accompanied by dangers of instability as well, as the situation in Afghanistan could go either way.  

He was of the view that the Soviet Union had left Afghanistan in a more dignified manner than the Americans. He added that while the government installed by the Soviets had survived three years after their departure, the government installed by the Americans vanished while they hadn’t even finished their departure from the country. He said that the responsibility for the failure in Afghanistan rested entirely on the shoulders of the Americans.

Former foreign secretary Ambassador Tehmina Janjua stated that the last Afghan president Ashraf Ghani was against negotiation with the Taliban until end but was the first to leave the country as soon as they entered the capital. This, she argued, showed the level of his concern for the best interests of the people of his country. She further stated that the Taliban had shown a considerable maturity and sense of responsibility since taking over Kabul. She said that they were fully cooperating with the international community and it was too early to judge them on their policies towards women and other human rights-related concerns.

She was of the view that since the international focus was on Afghanistan, it was essential to guard against misleading media narratives of vested interests.

Former diplomat Ambassador Ayaz Wazir added that the international community needed to realize that Afghan culture was different from Western culture and that women’s rights had to be in accordance with the local cultural norms. He further stated that while the Americans were blaming the Afghans for corruption, the Americans serving in Afghanistan were more corrupt than the Afghans because most of the US funds went to American contractors instead of Afghans. He was of the view that the Taliban were taking time in announcing a government because they were trying their level best to have an inclusive government more readily acceptable to the people of Afghanistan.

Ambassador Wazir was of the view that former Afghan president Hamid Karzai was a better politician and statesman than Ashraf Ghani.