A top Afghan official accused the U.S. envoy to the region of trying to weaken the Afghan government by cutting it out of talks with the Taliban, supersede it, and perhaps even run for chairwoman himself.
” The ground he is delegitimizing the Afghan government and weakening it, and at the same day elevating the Taliban can only have one approach. It’s definitely not for armistice ,” said former Afghan Ambassador to Washington Hamdullah Mohib, be talking about U.S. reconciliation emissary Zalmay Khalilzad, in an exceptional breakfast with national protection reporters in Washington , D.C.” He is not reconciling, he’s alienating .”
Mohib, who is now Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s national protection consultant, said he’d come to Washington specifically to complain that rather than using U.S. influence to push the Taliban to negotiate with the Afghan government, Khalilzad had sidelined them, throwing the Taliban no reason to talk armistice as it educates” for a full-on springtime offensive” against Afghan troops.
” Even if there’s a transaction, it’s a bad deal ,” he said, because it would undermine his government, whereas Mohib said the Taliban is publicly bragging that the world’s foreign ministers are clamoring to meet with them, the new U.S-backed power in town.
Among this complaints: that when Khalilzad wrapped up 16 dates of talks with the Taliban last week in Qatar last week, Mohib said he didn’t share much more than his tweets about the talks which said they’d made progress on a” withdrawal timeline and efficient counter-terrorism measurings .” Khalilzad added that after that was finalise,” the Taliban and other Afghans, including the government, will begin intra-Afghan negotiations on a political agreement and comprehensive ceasefire .”
Mohib said the information void is extending the Afghan government to some conspiratorial judgments, including the suspicion that Khalilzad, an Afghan-American, is intentionally diluting the present administration of and lining up his old friends like former Afghan President Hamid Karzai to make a future entreat to extend the country himself.
” We think either the diplomat doesn’t know what he is doing, or he has something else in recollection ,” Mohib said, adding that Khalilzad had considered leading for chairwoman of Afghanistan twice before.
” People in government feel perhaps all this talk is to create a caretaker government of which he will then become the viceroy .”
” Mr. Mohib’s comments are inaccurate and unhelpful, and we will be responding to them privately ,” a State Department official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the now-public discrepancy. By day’s purpose, the State Department’s deputy spokesperson, Robert Palladino, said Mohib had been garmented down by Under Secretary for Political Affairs David Hale, who told him” onslaughts on Ambassador Khalilzad are attacks on the Department .”
A senior administration official also emailed a chide of Mohib’s complaints, saying Khalilzad is” implemented in order to bring together various stakeholders, includes the Afghan government…and the Taliban, so they can reach a political colonization .” The official was not authorized to speak publicly.
Khalilzad was born in Afghanistan and grew up in Kabul before attending high school in the United States and eventually getting a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He was an assistant professor at Columbia University in New York before joining the State Department to work on the Afghanistan war against Soviet occupation in the 1980 s.
Khalilzad served as U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, as well as to Iraq, and as U.N. diplomat for the purposes of the George W. Bush administration, before being appointed as Trump’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation last-place descent. He has been rumored to consider operating for chairperson of Afghanistan in the past.
The State Department and NSC pushback aren’t likely to satisfy Mohib of his government. He said he’d taken his grievances to U.S. officials before, but that had done nothing to get U.S. envoy Khalilzad to let them into the process, and that on this excursion, he was being snubbed by his counterpart, National Security Adviser John Bolton, who was ” too busy” to converge him, but would instead be” declining by” while the Afghan was shuffled off to match a lower-level National Security Council official. It wasn’t clear by Thursday’s end if even that satisfying would be taking place.
Mohib had registered a number of other mortifications large and small, including its statement of claim that Khalilzad has prescribed to the Afghan government who they could include in future delegations to talk with the Taliban, formerly the U.S. allows them in. He said his own Taliban contacts told him they’d stimulated no such demands.
He also carefully tried to split his attacks on Khalilzad from any attack on the U.S. president.
” The United States is not a colonial superpower ,” said Mohib.” President[ Donald] Trump said in his inauguration addres that … countries will not be told how to live their lives ,” he said.” Those who he has hired are in fact doing the opposite .”
Editor &# x27; s Note: This narration was updated with statement from the State Department and NSC . em>