Afghanistan’s Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah has said that President Donald Trump’s new war strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia will help Afghanistan and its allies defeat terrorists.
Addressing a gathering at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington on Wednesday, Abdullah expressed hope that Afghanistan and its international partners will finally overcome the challenges including the elimination of terrorism and insurgency.
He warned that insurgents will take their war to the West unless the international community remains committed to Afghanistan in the campaign against terrorism.
“The (national) unity government - President (Ashraf) Ghani and myself are committed to make not only the US south Asia strategy, which is an important element in our engagement, a success strategy … the way forward I am hopeful and I am more hopeful today then before that we will succeed and we will overcome the challenges that are ahead of us; part of the South Asia policy elements including the fact that it is not based on a timeline rather condition-based, that is very important,” said Abdullah.
He said that the war on terrorism was not only Afghanistan’s war, but a global campaign against a common threat.
“Those forces which are fighting against us, the terrorist groups under different names, they have sanctuaries outside Afghanistan, this issue has to be addressed,” he said.
He said that Afghanistan is committed to its promises it made to the international community about fighting corruption and bringing reforms.
“We appreciate the increasing support which has been announced by the United States followed by NATO countries and other allies recently and that is important, its different elements will enable us to move towards self-reliance, but we expect of course continued commitment, but also as it was mentioned by President (Donald) Trump we don’t need a blank check; yes the commitment is that, but we are also committed to make it successful by taking serious steps and fighting against corruption, better governance and also enabling an environment for the private sector to develop,” said Abdullah.
He said that Afghan citizens today enjoy their civil and democratic rights which were retaken 15 years ago.
He also reiterated the call on Pakistan to support the peace process in Afghanistan and stop harboring terrorist organizations.
“Pakistan has a vital role to play for the peace restoration in Afghanistan. Pakistan must cut off its support for terrorists and act against them instead of harboring them, ” said Abdullah.
In addition, Abdullah said the Afghan government strongly believes in women’s rights and protects them.
“Women have started in the political process, in education, in parliament, they have been part of the government, private sector, media and civil society and advocacy. Today the women keep me accountable for the promises that we made and they keep the president accountable in the areas that we are slow,” added Abdullah.
“The Taliban is an umbrella for all those terrorist groups; they cannot support (themselves) without support from the Taliban; in the neighboring Pakistan (it) considers the TTP as the main threat which agreed, we are fighting against them, we don’t differentiate between this terrorist group and that terrorist group and we have never supported any terrorist group in our country. At the same time, we are open to dialogue with the Taliban and we have kept the door open for that,” Abdullah concluded.