National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib, on his visit to US capital Washington DC participated in Hudson Institute’s South and Central Asia Program conversation on the future of Afghanistan and US-Afghan relations. He expressed that the Afghan people deserve an end to the war and that they want to put an end to it by establishing peace while protecting their countless gains of the past 18 years.
He said, the question of what the future looks like “is a serious question”, particularly as peace is approached. He said that the question not only concerns the future of Afghanistan but also the future for its relationship with the United States, its foundational partner.
“It is no secret that today’s Afghanistan is a changed country. We no longer pose a security threat to the world. And, by relentlessly pursuing a reform agenda geared toward self-reliance over the past 5 years, we are gradually becoming less of financial burden”, he expressed.
Mohib clarified how Afghanistan has also undergone a social transformation over the past 18 years-with Afghans having a firm belief in their Constitution & democratic institutions. “We see our future in the global community of democratic nations”, Mohib said.
Talking about the sacrifices of all soldiers in the Afghan war, Mohib expressed that the brave soldiers of Afghan National Defense & Security Forces are fighting not only for the country’s sovereignty, but are also on the frontline of the global war on terror. Mohib assured that Afghanistan is a strategic partner for its allies in the international community, foremost the US.
“We-Afghans & Americans-have come this far through great sacrifice, for which we as a nation will forever be grateful. We are indebted to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our gains as a nation and our increased security as an international community”, Mohib said as he expressed gratitude towards all members of the Afghan and US military, the veterans and families of the fallen, who served in Afghanistan and who are still serving today.
The NSA explained that in 2017, after the announcement of the Trump administration’s South Asia strategy, Afghanistan & the US entered a new phase of partnership-“The South Asia strategy was a game changer for thr region because it was based on conditions, not artificial timelines. It put serious pressure on spoilers in our neighborhood; & it refocused the US role on training, advising and assisting Afghan troops, and pursuing counter-terror objectives in partnership with our security sector. We still believe this is the correct approach to our partnership.”
Assuring and affirming Afghanistan’s strategic role, Mohib argued that this is no longer America’s war in Afghanistan as Afghans are fighting their own war now and they are thankful, for the support provided by the UnitedStates has been and shall be reciprocated in Afghanistan’s coordination and cooperation on shared counter-terrorism and intelligence objectives.
On the peace talks between US and Taliban, Mohib pointed out that even two or three years ago, talking of peace with Taliban was not part of routine vocabulary or a “raging priority”. But he said that President Ghani changed that narrative, “His efforts, including ones ranging from reaching out to the region with an open offer of unconditional peace talks at the Kabul Process Conference, to the successful execution of the ceasefire in June 2018, to sharing a comprehensive roadmap for peace, & introducing a negotiation team in the Geneva Conference, peace has become more real now than ever before.”