WASHINGTON: Afghanistan’s relations with the United States of America are at an all times low after president Ashraf Ghani’s National Security Adviser, Hamdullah Mohib accused the US Special Envoy for Peace Zalmay Khalilzad of “delegitimising” the Kabul government by excluding it from peace talks with the Taliban and acting like a “viceroy”.
Khalilzad who played a key role in establishing the modern democracy in Afghanistan and can be considered as the architect of the modern Afghan state alongside Hamid Karzai, was former US ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq and United Nations.
Khalilzad is one of the most prominent, experienced and recognised Muslim American diplomats. Since 1984, he has served first in the Reagan administration, then under Bill Clinton, George Bush and briefly under Barack Obama.
He is also one of the most prominent and respected personalities of the Afghan diaspora community not just in the United States but also across the world.
Over the past couple of months, Khalilzad has been tasked by president Donald Trump to speak to Taliban and bring the long Afghan conflict to an end based on his extensive experience and networks across the region.
Frustrated by Taliban’s refusal to speak with Afghanistan’s government directly and growing instability at home, Mohib launched a blistering public attack on Khalilzad.
The attack on Khalilzad has been perceived as an attack on US government by the Americans.
On the next day of the public attack on Khalilzad, U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale told Ghani by phone that Mohib would no longer be received in Washington and U.S. civilian and military officials would not do business with him, according to a newly published article by Reuters.
This marks probably the lowest point in US – Afghanistan bilateral relations since Ghani has taken office.
Ghani’s government and the National Security Council of Afghanistan is extensively funded by America and the Unity Government was formed under direct oversight of John Kerry.
World Afghan Congress director, Abdul Matin Wardak said;
Under these circumstances, Ghani and Dr Abdullah Abdullah must show great leadership to quickly mend the damage done by Mohib.
Khalilzad is a respected Afghan – American elder for the Afghan diaspora community, a distinguished diplomat of the United States and a well-wisher of Afghanistan.
Attacking or insulting Khalilzad will not only isolate the government in Kabul further but also put the entire nation at great risk.