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Karzai Terms Moscow Meeting Important Step Towards Peace

Former President Hamid Karzai said that the “Troika” meeting laid out agreement among the World’s biggest country on peaceful settlement in Afghanistan  

In the sideline of the “Troika” meeting held between the foreign ministers of Russia, U.S., China and Pakistan, Former President Hamid Karzai in an interview with Sputniknews discussed the results of the meeting, its efficiency on the Afghan peace and why the Russian’s special envoy for Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov’s remarks faced criticisms? Will the U.S. new proposal would be imposed on the people of Afghanistan and what is Pakistan’s role in the Afghan peace?

In your opinion, what is the important achievement of “Troika” meeting with the presence of the Kabul delegation and Taliban’s representatives?

The important achievements were several; one of the achievements was that the World’s top countries alongside Pakistan and two friendly countries of Afghanistan, Turkey and Qatar participated in the meeting. This means assisting regarding Afghanistan by the world’s top countries and friends of Afghanistan which is an important foundation for peace and prosperity in Afghanistan.

Another achievement is that an opportunity was provided for the Afghans to come to Moscow – (Afghans) from various aspects of the society, from different elites, from the peace council including the Taliban movement, to set together and negotiate. They sat together with the international community and also reconciled with each other.

The third achievements was the joint statement of the world’s top three countries plus Pakistan, in which peace was emphasized in Afghanistan, stressing on the importance of development of the people of Afghanistan, and encourage the Afghans for peace, and represent the establishment of cooperation and agreement among the top countries regarding the situation in Afghanistan.

You held a meeting with the Taliban’s delegation; can you give some details about it?

It was an intimate and countrymen meeting among us, we Afghans set together; chatted and talked.

Did you mention the future government of Afghanistan?

We didn’t discuss this issue, just the hopes of the two sides were mentioned for peace in Afghanistan and generality of peace; it means; it was a meeting focusing on hopes that we have a joint future, and we should be united and reach what all the Afghans hopes for, which is peace.

In your opinion, why the Doha talks triggered into deadlock?

The negotiations didn’t engage in deadlock. The Doha negotiations are continuing and the meeting, which is going to be held in Istanbul in the near future, doesn’t stop the Doha efforts, but it emboldens this effort and it is held in another form. And, the efforts and cooperation of the Qatar government is prolonging.

You said the U.S. new proposal can speed up the Afghan peace process and supported the scheme, why?

The U.S. scheme has some points which are in the prosperity of Afghanistan. It stresses on the values, human rights, an independent and stable Afghanistan, and strongly emphasized on a central government, it also emphasizes on the constitution of Afghanistan, on the peace process, and any change and alternation comes in the next constitution of Afghanistan as a result of the peace process is based on the current constitution. 

Then, there are issues in this scheme that is in prosperity of Afghanistan, and it (scheme) has persisted on serious negotiations between the Afghan-negotiating-sides. Off course, the whole scheme is not good but in my opinion the important parts of it are good.

Do you support the transitional government which is stated in the U.S. new plan?

We must strive for peace in Afghanistan. This is the desire and the wish of the Afghan people. If the Taliban movement is ready to join the current government of Afghanistan, or a joint-government is formed, whatever you name it, under the administration of Dr. Ashraf Ghani, we would be happy for that because it makes things easier, and we approach quickly. But if the Taliban don’t accept and want something else, and it was negotiated between the parties and both sides agreed upon and acceptable for the Afghan people, we will agree with it.

Do you think the plan of the transitional government in Afghanistan at a time when the two sides are engaged in war, is in the interest of the people of Afghanistan and the Afghan peace process?

We want peace; we want the will of the Afghan nation. The people of Afghanistan want peace. The people of Afghanistan want the rights of giving and taking votes for the governments that provide them services. In other words it means, the owners are the Afghan people and whatever is the will of the people of Afghanistan, is our national will. And we as individuals agree on the general will of the people of Afghanistan and we should respect it and this is the duty of every Afghan, then if the Afghan nation accepts to form a joint government of the Taliban and current administration, we should respect that. If the Afghan nation didn’t accept, and offered another proposal based on national interest, we should agree on it.

Mr. Karzai, why the U.S. offered the scheme for peace between the two conflictive parties, not the negotiating sides, which are engaged in negotiations for six months in Doha?

U.S. is an important side of the issue, one, is a side of the war in Afghanistan, it fought in Afghanistan – the other side is Pakistan, and therefore, Pakistan was present in the meeting, and now the U.S. wants peace. As much I opposed U.S. war, and its bombardments on the Afghan houses, as I support its peace efforts.

We want a peace in Afghanistan to recognize as an independent country, and therefore, our consultations with the U.S. is that if it really wants peace in Afghanistan, it should be real in cooperation with the world’s big countries that are all the neighbors of Afghanistan because without them, cooperation for peace in Afghanistan is impossible. So, our wish for peace in Afghanistan is that the top countries should engage in cooperative not competitive. An Afghanistan that can have better relations with Russia and better relations with China, and be in very good relations with the neighbors, and it should be dignified, and an Afghanistan in a peace. If the U.S. goes this way, we support it, we want peace and we want good ties.

These points were also presented in Moscow meeting. The Moscow meeting represented the cooperation of world’s big countries, regional countries and neighboring countries of Afghanistan, we are happy about it. So we support it.

As we heard from Sergey Lavrov, the minister of foreign affairs of Russia in the inauguration ceremony, both Kabul and Taliban and people of Afghanistan say, it is the people of Afghanistan who should determine their destiny, and that no country and no organization can offer plan or proposal which is imposition; In your opinion this scheme offered by the U.S. is not interference in the peace process? Isn’t it imposed? Because the scheme was also criticized inside Afghanistan, right?  

U.S. is presence in Afghanistan and it exists there, now it wants to cooperate with the Afghan peace process, we should use this opportunity that the U.S. is biased peace in Afghanistan and bring us peace. When we earned peace, off course, an in independent and dignified Afghanistan that holds national sovereignty, and we absolutely confirm the remarks of the foreign minister Lavrov, every nation should have its independency. One of the disagreements we had with the U.S. was this. But, as it now want peace and rises voice for peace, we cooperate with its efforts for peace and therefore, we consider the Moscow meeting a good and prosperous start of cooperation of big countries and regional countries for peace in Afghanistan.

Zamir Kabulov, the Russian special envoy for Afghanistan announced that a good option for Afghanistan at the initial process of reconciliation is the formation of a transitional and inclusive government, but the remarks faced criticism in Afghanistan, and even considered it as interference in Afghanistan’s internal affairs and peace process; Later on, the U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad came to Afghanistan with such a proposal, although, they didn’t officially provide details in regards, but was supported, in your opinion why a statement faced widespread criticism but the written-scheme was supported.

We generally support all the countries involvement in Afghanistan affairs, and other friendly countries to Afghanistan, especially our friendly country, Russia, and therefore, for four times from November 2019 till recent Moscow meeting, from various aspects, from the government and non-government and from the Taliban, all came and set on talks in Moscow. This represents Russia’s confirmation for ensuring peace in Afghanistan and formation of secure environment in Afghanistan’s independency and national sovereignty. We meaningfully appreciate these efforts and praise it.

In your opinion, as the remarks of Kabulov faced criticisms, and the U.S. proposal was the same idea, who opposed Kabulov’s remarks?

In the parliament, it was criticized and called it an interference in the Afghan peace process. Mr. Kabulov paid a lot of efforts for Afghanistan’s reconciliation. Since 2018 till now we see that he has been continuingly attempting for the Afghan peace process, he paid visits to the regional countries and had direct and effective contacts with the U.S. envoy and they paid these efforts together. We support Mr. Kabulov’s efforts and we saw the good results in Moscow meeting in the statement released by the Troika.

But the letter of Mr. Blinken says that the war parties should immediately evaluate the scheme and that, in an international conference set to be held in April in Istanbul of Turkey, they should finalize it, isn’t it imposing of other country’s interests on the people of Afghanistan?

No, No, we carry our responsibility, the people of Afghanistan are doing their responsibility and that is the U.S. proposal. The U.S. came for assistance by the permission of international community in Afghanistan in 2001, all countries were allied with it. Now we see that the cooperation is restart again, which is, that the U.S. has a plan, it doesn’t mean that we accept the plan with closed-eyes. No, we study the scheme, we monitor it, other countries also have scheme, have opinions, we study our country’s reconciliation throughout our Afghan view.

In one of your interviews about four to five years ago and in one of the document film regarding Afghanistan, you said that in great politics, there is no permanent friend nor permanent enemy, it depends on situation in the country, region and world. In your opinion, at the situation that Afghanistan is now placed, is Pakistan a friend for Afghanistan or foe?

We at all don’t call a country enemy, which is a neighboring country, with which, we have deep public relations, a county that welcomed Afghanistan and its people with open arms and provide them hospitality for some decades, we don’t call that country an enemy. It is our brother country, our friend; we have intimacy relations with its people. We complain about the acts and policies of Pakistan’s government and try to fix them. With Pakistan and its people, the Afghanistan’s people have very good relations. And we are thankful for the great hospitality of Pakistani people. But at the same time, it was the actions and policies of the Pakistani government that fueled extremism.

For example, how extremism?  

For example the extremism and violence that we earlier talked about, I don’t consider it necessary to go back on that issue, but even with the complains that we have, we are in negotiations with them, at the dinner, we had talks with the Pakistani ambassador, Mr. Sadiq, with the presence of ambassador Kaboluv, ambassador Khalilzad and Turkish special envoy. We had intimate discussion and brotherly discussion for resolving the dispute between Pakistan and us, and we want to have a good relation. It is their rights and the rights of people of Afghanistan to live in dignified, civil, good, stable and fraternal relations far from extremism and violence. We have this offer for them and we hope to reach an early result.

There is an idea that the Afghan peace is unable to be solved via negotiations only with the Taliban because this war is imposed from Pakistan and Pakistan also support the Taliban, have you discussed this issue?

We discussed all issues with Pakistan. Well, Pakistan discuss these issues warmly, fraternally and very calmly, we want the Afghan war, which is indeed a foreign war, it is a war on foreign interests, in which the Afghans are being sacrificed, lose their children, harms our old men and women and hurt them, that is why we attempt to solve the Afghanistan issue from two sides, first is the intra-Afghan negotiations, among us the people of Afghanistan, Taliban and all other people of Afghanistan, on the other side, which is very important, is the agreement for cooperation among the big countries in Afghanistan, and Moscow meeting was an example of it. It was a great statement and the establishment of an intimacy relation far from conflicts, to have relations with absolute independency and sovereignty with neighbors, we are paying efforts and will reach a result In Sha Allah.

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