Karzai: Intra-Afghan dialogue important for Islamic Emirate, Afghanistan

KABUL (TOLO News): Former President Hamid Karzai urged the Islamic Emirate to begin a process of inclusivity by launching a grand Afghan dialogue, saying that it is for the good of the “Taliban themselves and for the good of the country.”

The former president, who remained in power from 2001 to 2014, made the remarks in an interview with The Washington Post.

When asked about the Islamic Emirate’s stance regarding the intra-Afghan dialogue, Karzai said: “On the principle of things, there is an agreement. They say yes. On a national dialogue being imperative to a better Afghanistan, there is an agreement. On getting it launched and done, we haven’t yet gotten where we should be.”

He blamed former president Ashraf Ghani’s fleeing as the reason for the collapse of the republican government.

“If Ashraf Ghani didn’t escape from the country and believed in peace and intra-Afghan negotiations, the government would still remain in place,” said Shahzada Masoud, a close figure to Karzai.

Analysts also said that intra-Afghan dialogue can address the country’s challenges.

“We should conduct a national dialogue, either a Loga Jirga (grand assembly) or a grand council. People from across Afghanistan, from each village and district, should be invited to the capital to make a decision in this regard,” said Kamran Aman, a political analyst.

“Negotiations and dialogues in a nation like Afghanistan that has witnessed long wars are necessary for its stability,” said Najibullah Jami, a political analyst.

Head of the Islamic Emirate’s Qatar based political office, Suhail Shaheen, said the caretaker government has established a commission to facilitate the return of Afghan political leaders.

“Afghans abroad are in contact with the commission. They share their opinions and questions with them. Second, Afghans abroad can contact the commission,” Shaheen said.

“The war in Afghanistan was not our war,” Karzai said. “I was against that war. I was not a partner of the United States in that war against Afghan villages and homes,” Karzai said. “I stood against it, and I worked against it. I changed from the moment I recognized that this war that is fought in the name of defeating terrorism is actually a war against the Afghan people.”

The former president also expressed disagreement with the US decision to split Afghan assets of $7 billion.

“I strongly disagree with the decision to strip the Afghan reserves, keeping half of it for the possibility of distribution to the 9/11 victims, with whom the Afghan people commiserate fully. … We as the greatest victims of terrorism commiserate fully with American families who lost lives and suffered in that great tragedy of Sept. 11,” Karzai said in the interview with The Washington Post.