For Daesh, Afghanistan is another springboard in the region, Afghan ex-president says


KABUL (TCA) — Afghanistan has to solve the issue of ensuring security in cooperation with neighboring countries and countries of the region which are facing the same challenges and threats, Afghanistan’s former President Hamid Karzai said in an exclusive interview with Russia’s Sputnik news agency.

“We must develop a wide range of measures to end the crisis also through the convening of the Loya Jirga [All-Afghan Council of Elders], uniting all our people and come to a national consensus on this issue,” Karzai said.

“When I was president, all important issues were discussed at Loya Jirga meetings. The Loya Jirga decided on issues like relations with Pakistan, the process of peaceful settlement in the country, the Constitution, a bilateral security treaty with the United States, negotiations with the Taliban, who are also our compatriots, and so on. I believed that people should participate in the decision-making [process] on these issues and engage in across-the-board nationwide consultations.”

Asked about the current state of Russian-Afghan relations, Karzai said that “despite the presence of NATO and US forces, which compete with Russia in many fields, we maintained our cooperation, including in the fight against extremism and terrorism, and this cooperation was both at the state level and at the level of contacts between peoples. Our two countries have very close ties now. Russia as a neighboring country, with which we have long historical ties and traditionally friendly relations, can contribute to the peace process, and we believe that friendship with Russia will become an important factor of stability and sustainable development of our country.”

Asked about the difference between Daesh and the Taliban, Karzai said a difference between the Taliban and Daesh is that “the Taliban are Afghans, they come from Afghanistan, they know the Afghan people, they know our customs and you can find them in any city and any village. For example, in Kunduz and some other provinces, you can see two flags hanging next to each other: the white flag of the Taliban and the national flag of Afghanistan. The war with the Taliban is a civil war, and our task is to find ways to reconcile so that we can stop it as soon as possible. Unlike the Taliban, Daesh is a foreign product. It was created by foreigners, trained by foreigners and financed by foreigners. For them, Afghanistan is another springboard, they use Afghanistan in the interests of their masters, and we must drive them out of our country.”

Sergey Kwan