The Afghan government had stepped up preparations for the highly-anticipated scenario of disengagement by the Trump administration, according to Hamdullah Mohib.
Currently on a three-day trip to India, the NSA told a select group of journalists in New Delhi on Sturdy: “There are several US mechanisms for military engagement…”
He was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times as saying there had never been any discussion with the United States on a cut in counter-terrorism operations.
“What we have been told is that this is a planning process for different scenarios. For the time being, it is not a decision yet,” said the advisor, a former Afghan ambassador to the US.
“The numbers that are being spoken of are numbers that were increased in 2017,” to more than 14,000 from 8,600. “So it’s not going to have a significant impact if they are going to be taken back.”
Since 2014, Mohib said, his country had been preparing for self-reliance in the area of security by 2024. “I must say 2024 will be an ideal situation when we will have all the time we need in terms of preparations…”
In response to the query if the Afghan government would like India to open a channel with Taliban, he replied “What I am saying is that there are efforts already underway to facilitate an intra-Afghan dialogue.
“We would like to see all our regional partners consolidate and focus on those efforts, rather than starting their own,” explained the NSA. All peace talks have to be Afghan-owned and Afghan-led, he insisted.