KABUL: Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has faced backlash early Monday for delivering a rambling speech about unity and nation-building in Afghanistan in a presidential debate.
Afghan leaders are angered by former US Vice President Biden’s remarks, with former president Hamid Karzai referring to it as “irresponsible” and “unrealistic” and said “it is evident that the US has never sought nation-building in Afghanistan.”
Addressing a debate in New Hampshire on Saturday, Biden said he was “totally against the whole notion of nation-building in Afghanistan” and that “the only thing we should be doing is dealing with terrorism in that region.” He said that there is no possibility to unite Afghanistan, no possibility at all of making it a whole country.
“Afghans are a strong resilient nation. Afghanistan was and is united and whole despite the war and destruction. Biden should apologize for his ignorant and irresponsible statement,” said Bushra Gohar former member of Pakistani Parliament.
In reaction to Biden, former Ambassador to Pakistan Omar Zakhilwal said that no country in the world could go through 40 years of back to back invasions, interferences, wars and periods of statelessness and still remain one piece with not a single citizen ever asking for opting out.
“Afghanistan has and will continue to be one inseparable piece, all testament to strong and inseparable nationhood,” he said.
The statement also drew ire in the Presidential Palace which responded by saying that the unity of Afghanistan as a nation is evident to the world. “The people of Afghanistan are a unified nation and we have been with each other through everything, and we have fought against the enemies of Afghanistan as a united nation,” said Durani Jawed Waziri, a spokesman for the Presidential Palace.
“If the fifty years of war in Afghanistan was in another country, all its citizens would have been in the hospital,” said Sayed Ishaq Gailani, chairman of the National Solidarity Movement of Afghanistan.