Afghan leader seeks ‘clar­i­fi­ca­tion’ of US coun­ter­part’s war com­ments

Global Times US Edition - - WORLD -

Afghan Pres­i­dent Ashraf Ghani said Tuesday the US should clar­ify re­marks Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump made about Afghanista­n, in­clud­ing a claim that he could eas­ily win the war but didn’t “want to kill 10 mil­lion peo­ple.”

The US leader made sev­eral sur­pris­ing state­ments Mon­day along­side Pak­istan Prime Min­is­ter Im­ran Khan at the White House, in­clud­ing that he had plans for a quick end to the Afghan con­flict, but which would wipe the coun­try “off the face of the Earth.”

Afghanista­n “would be gone. It would be over in, lit­er­ally, in 10 days,” Trump said, adding, “I don’t want to go that route” and that he didn’t want to kill mil­lions.

His com­ments sparked up­set and out­rage in Afghanista­n, where the war­weary and trau­ma­tized pop­u­la­tion is al­ready wor­ried about a pre­cip­i­tous pull­out of US forces and whether that means a re­turn to Tal­iban rule and a spi­ralling civil war.

“The gov­ern­ment of the Is­lamic Repub­lic of Afghanista­n calls for clar­i­fi­ca­tion on the US pres­i­dent’s state­ments ex­pressed at a meet­ing with the Pak­istan prime min­is­ter, via diplo­matic means and chan­nels,” Ghani’s of­fice said.

Trump also said Pak­istan would help the US “ex­tri­cate” it­self from Afghanista­n, adding there was “tremen­dous po­ten­tial” in the re­la­tion­ship be­tween Wash­ing­ton and Is­lam­abad.

Afghanista­n has long blamed Pak­istan for fu­elling the Afghan con­flict and for sup­port­ing the Tal­iban, and Ghani is fu­ri­ous about be­ing con­tin­u­ally side­lined by the US in on­go­ing peace talks with the Tal­iban.

Pak­istan was the Tal­iban’s chief spon­sor when it took power in neigh­bor­ing Afghanista­n dur­ing the 1990s.

Its in­flu­ence over the group, which has waged an in­sur­gency since it was ousted from power by Us-led forces in 2001, is seen as key in fa­cil­i­tat­ing a po­lit­i­cal set­tle­ment with Ghani’s gov­ern­ment.

“While the Afghan gov­ern­ment sup­ports the US ef­forts for en­sur­ing peace in Afghanista­n, the gov­ern­ment un­der­scores that for­eign heads of state cannot de­ter­mine Afghanista­n’s fate in ab­sence of the Afghan lead­er­ship,” Ghani’s of­fice said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.