Strong reactions pour in among Afghanistan’s ordinary people and political elites following US president’s controversial remarks about the war in the country, especially when he said that he could wipe Afghanistan off the Earth if he wanted to.
“If we wanted to fight a war in Afghanistan and win it, I could win that war in a week. I just don’t want to kill 10 million people,” Trump said. “If I wanted to win that war, Afghanistan would be wiped off the face of the Earth, it would be gone, it would be over in, literally, in 10 days.”
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said in a statement said that partnership and cooperation between Afghanistan and the US should be based on mutual respect and in line with the interests of the two countries, asking Trump to clarify his statement.
“Afghanistan is one of the oldest nations in the world which has passed through various conflicts in the course of history. The Afghan nation will never allow any foreign power to determine its fate,” he said. “We support the US efforts for bringing peace to Afghanistan but the main fate of the country cannot be determined in foreign leaders’ meeting in the absence of Afghans leadership. Our Afghanistan will remain in the world’s political arena with strength.”
Former President Hamid Karzai condemned Trump’s remarks and called it “a big insult” to the people of Afghanistan.
Karzai said, “Trump’s statement reflects the inner instincts of America’s leadership towards our people and our country and shows that they do not respect the life and dignity of humans.”
Former Afghan ambassador to Pakistan, Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal, reacted to the statement with dismay.
“Genghis and people before and after him come with the intention of aggression. They came and gone, but this country is still shining like the star in the sky,” Zakhilwal said.
“If someone says that we will wipe out this country off the scene, I think these are the rhetoric which needs our thinking and it’s a lesson which requires us to be united,” said Haji Din Mohammad, head of Peace and Development Party.
“If America wasn’t initially the cause of the expansion of the war, but its presence prolonged the war,” university lecturer Nasrullah Stanekzai said.
Former NDS chief and presidential candidate Rahmatullah Nabil said Trump's statement is an insult to the sacrifices of Afghans in the war on terror.
“In the presence of Pakistani military officials, Mr. Trump in relations to Afghanistan, an Afghanistan which has been the victim of terrorism and Pakistani hostility and its allies, insulted not only the Afghan security forces and the sacrifices of the people of Afghanistan, but he also insulted the blood of his own soldiers,” said Nabil.
Former National Security Advisor Rangin Dadfar Spanta says he sees a political, horrific and discriminatory message in Trump's statement on Afghanistan.
Critics stressed the need for isolation of Pakistan in the international arena.
They said that Trump never showed a willingness to meet President Ashraf Ghani at the White House.
“The Afghan government in consultation with the government officials has decided to use diplomatic channels to ask the US to clarify the [Trump] statement,” said President Ghani’s running mate as first vice president, Amrullah Saleh.