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NUG wasted one year of its term: Spanta

AT-KABUL: Former National Security Advisor (NSA), Rangeen Dadfar Spanta, said that the National Unity Government (NUG) has wasted one year of its term and failed to bring prosperity and give hope to Afghans.

“It has been one year since formation of the National Unity Government (NUG). One year is not a long, but for a country that should come out of security, social and economic crisis, one year is a long period of time,” he added.

Spanta in an article published in a local newspaper, said: “In third world countries, particularly in Afghanistan it is trend that governments blame their successors and foreigners for their incompetence and wrongdoings to free themselves from the responsibility of finding the root causes of their failures.”

He added that to say that the incumbent government has inherited some of the outstanding problems from its successor is true, but rapidly deterioration of the situation since formation of the NUG is completely another case.

“During Hamid Karzai’s tenure, at least we had a government based on law and elections,” Spanta said, adding that there were constant contact and talks between people of Afghanistan and the former President Hamid Karzai.

Hinting at the achievements of the previous government, Spanta said that the constitution has been drafted, education sector has improved, healthcare service has expanded like never before, security forces have been established, young people had been sent to foreign countries to pursue higher education, free media has been developed, universities have once again become places to get education, people from all walks of life were present in the government and so on. He said that during Karzai’s administration the government had a foreign policy. “Leaders of other countries were considering leaders of the then government, as representatives of an equal government. When an issue was against Afghanistan’s interest, Afghan leaders and diplomats could even say no to superpowers [the West],” Spanta recalled.

Speaking about the constitution and election law, Spanta said that the NUG doesn’t have a legal base and is formed based on a political deal. Recalling his conversation with the then President Hamid Karzai during the electoral crisis in 2014, Spanta said: “In a meeting where the former Vice-President Yunus Qanuni, former Second Vice-President Karim Khalili and former president’s Chief of Staff Abdul Karim Khurram were also present, I told ex-President Hamid Karzai that the election and the outcomes that are being spoken of are in sharp contrast with the constitution and election law. I told him that constitution has been violated in some cases over the past 13 years, but this time it will be severely violated… I told him that from legal point of view the most responsible and best step would be declaring elections extra-constitutional. The two vice-presidents agreed…. Hamid Karzai said that these are conspiracies hatched by the United States and Britain to blame us for failure of elections and dragging Afghanistan into a civil war. He added that let the foreigners sort out the mess that they have created. Karzai told that he doesn’t want to remain in office even for a single day after completing his legal term.”

Spanta said that delay in formation of the Cabinet and appointment of provincial governors weakened the government. The government should listen to people and pay attention to their demands, he added. Spanta said that the NUG is both “deaf and dumb”.

He said that in terms of fight against corruption the NUG boast of resolving Kabul Bank scandal. “The reality is that except for baseless propaganda, the government has done nothing remarkable in this regard,” said the ex-NSA. The former advisor said that the list of those involved in the scandal is in the National Security Council’s office. “The list was also shared with media… the government should not deceive people,” he added. Spanta said that focusing on those who have already paid their loans, but are being focused on for attractiveness of their surnames, cannot be called fight against corruption.

Spanta said that foreign and security policies of the NUG towards Pakistan are influenced by three factors: 1) being optimistic towards the Taliban, 2) being grateful to Pakistan, 3) the US and Britain’s influence over Afghan foreign policy.

The former NSA went on to say that after formation of the NUG, the foreign policy’s terminology has been changed in Afghanistan. “For the first time the Afghan government used the word of fight against ‘proxy war’,” he added. He said that term ‘proxy war’ put the responsibility of war on Afghanistan and India. He said that war in Afghanistan was not a proxy war. “When the Pakistani Taliban crossed the Durand Line to Kunar province, the US troops had more than 67 outposts and military bases in the province and we had no control over our land and air. Even if an Indian mosquito went to the province, the US troops would have known about it,” he argued.

Regarding the information sharing deal signed between Pakistan’s ISI and National Directorate of Security (NDS), Spanta said that people’s reaction against the deal compelled the NUG leaders to deny signing of the pact. “We shall be proud of our people who didn’t let Pakistan hit the last nail on the coffin of an independent Afghanistan and make our country its ‘fifth province’,” said Spanta.

While talking about singing of the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with Washington, Spanta said that he is not against signing of the agreement; however, the NUG should ask the US to act according to the agreement in the face of outside aggressions. He added that the deal suggests Washington to take action against foreign aggression against Afghanistan. “It has been one year since signing of the deal, but bases of militants are still in Pakistan, from where the militants organize their attacks on people of Afghanistan. After revelation of the death of Mullah Omar, the supreme leader of the Taliban, the militant groups publicly organized gatherings in one of the metropolitan cities of Pakistan to announce their war against Afghanistan. ISI’s Mullahs along with officers of the spy agency took part in the sessions… As the Vice President, Abdul Rashid Dostum said Pakistani officers are leading the Taliban’s war against the Afghan government,” he added.

Spanta said that the government should implement the deal signed between both leaders of the National Unity Government (NUG). He added that delay in implementation of the agreement have sparked concerns among public about future of the government. He said that one of the main reasons of youths’ mass exodus to the European Union (EU) is lack of trust over future of the NUG.

He said that the NUG squandered one year of its life, because it could not bring security and prosperity to people of Afghanistan, but created more problems. “In the past only villages were under security threat, but during this government districts collapse to the Taliban. The terrorists have expanded their operations from south to north of the country, fall of Kunduz city, even if it was for few days, would have horrific results, and thousands of youths are leaving for foreign countries,” he said. “We shall ask that whether existence of Afghanistan is important for us or the rule of the NUG?” Spanta asked.

Spanta said that the country should be brought out of these challenges through legal ways.

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