“From Strategic Priorities to Interim Government”: 9 Takeaways from Hamdullah Mohib’s Interview with Shamshad TV
Afghanistan’s National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib had an interview with Shamshad TV on Tuesday November 20. Reporterly has focused on the key points of the interview.
Focusing on Priorities
Hamdullah Mohib, regarding his priorities as the newly appointed Afghan National Security Advisor, said that the Afghan government has taken a number of key tasks for the designation into consideration: coordination between the security institutions and the security forces, coordination with the international allies of Afghanistan in equipping and financing security forces, as well as developing security policies and strategies, is among the most important tasks of the Afghan National Security Advisor.
The other tasks of the Afghan National Security Advisor are to focus on everyday happenings, as per Mr. Mohib. “For the purpose of checking these daily events, we also have a deputy in the council, with a military general stationed. The focus of this section is to create daily co-ordination, to consolidate the information and to report accurately to the government’s leadership after analysis,” he added.
The Challenge of Coordination Between Security Forces
Afghan National Security Advisor expressed that “the Afghan government was formed during the war” in response to criticisms claiming that there is no coordination between the Afghan security agencies and the Afghan government; on one hand, the Afghan government is building the system, and on the other hand, “enemies” fight, he remarked.
“In most countries, their security forces first receive enough military training and then enter the battlefields, but Afghan military forces do not have this opportunity and practically learn about them at the battlefield in actual strongholds,” Mr. Mohib explained.
He further emphasised that despite these challenges, the Afghan government still has good advances in the coordination of security forces and is also working on it.
Definition of War and Peace
Hamdullah Mohib says Afghanistan’s law determines at what points and with whom the government would fight and use its armed forces. Thr defense of territorial integrity, independence, citizens and the nation, and the protection of Afghanistan from the enemies, is among the specific issues that the security sector pays more attention to and fights for, according to him.
“As the Afghan president said at the beginning of his career that his focus is on a permanent and stable peace for Afghanistan, and this is our definition of peace, not an ephemeral peace,” he said.
According to the Afghan National Security Advisor, Kabul has made great efforts to achieve national, regional and international consensus. “The peace concept that the Afghan government wants to bring should be made clear and what “we” are going to pay for peace. The national and international efforts have made Afghanistan more close to peace than ever before,” he stressed.
Order to Increase Aggressive Attacks
As the peace talks with the Taliban approached, the Afghan government ordered the armed forces to increase the aggressive attacks a few days ago, but some questions were raised about whether or not the increase in these attacks meant sabotage of the peace process. The response of the Afghan National Security Advisor was negative in this regard, “the aggressive attacks is the right of the people of Afghanistan. The citizens of Afghanistan have the right that their government defend their honours, lives and properties.”
“We do not give anyone the right to threaten the security of our people” Mr. Mohib clarified.
The Afghan National Security Advisor added that the government has the ability to make peace with the Afghan Taliban; “We had a good example of domestic peace in the Afghan government, and the peace process with the Hizb-e-Islami was very successful,” he said. But in addition to the Afghan Taliban, “we must admit that there are those who do not want peace and security in Afghanistan, and those who legitimise them should stop fighting” he added.
He notes that 90 percent of the actors behind the Afghan war are international terrorists and smugglers.
The Fate of Other Terrorist Groups
The Afghan National Security Advisor expressed that terrorist groups do not want anything from the government of Afghanistan, and that the government does not have anything to give them, but they see the continuation of the war in Afghanistan in their favour.
“These groups want to achieve their goals through the war. But the Afghan government can never make peace with these types of terrorists, indeed war and insecurity have provided ground for their presence in Afghanistan,” Mr. Mohib said.
The Presence of Foreign troops is the Effect of War, Not the Cause
A number of Taliban representatives at Moscow Peace Talks on Afghanistan believed that the presence of Americans is the main reason for the war in Afghanistan and they claim if foreign troops withdraw from Afghanistan, they will also stop fighting, but the Afghan National Security Advisor commented that the presence of foreign troops is the “effect” of war, not the “cause” of it in Afghanistan.
“In 2014, more than 90 percent of foreign troops withdrew from Afghanistan,” said Mr. Mohib, “In the areas where the foreign troops withdrew from, the security has deteriorated and the Taliban terror and crimes have increased. ”
There were no foreigners in the provinces of Kunduz, Uruzgan and Farah, but the Taliban invaded the provinces and killed, wounded and displaced hundreds of civilians. On the contrary, there has been relative peace in the provinces where foreigners were present, according to him.
The Afghan National Security Advisor stated that foreign forces had decided to leave Afghanistan, and not even be present at an embassy level, but the only reason for their presence in Afghanistan is the persistence of war. “Foreigners had scheduled to withdraw, but as the security situation has been deteriorating, the government had to ask them for more help and longer presence” he said.
“The condition for the withdrawal of foreign forces is an excuse for them. If they want to the foreign forces to withdraw, then they [Taliban] should stop fighting,” Mohib remarked.
The Reason Why the Moscow Meeting Was Not Recognised by Kabul
The Afghan National Security Advisor pointed that the Afghan government will not attend any peace talks which is not owned by Afghans and questions Afghanistan’s sovereignty and does not recognise it. “It does not make any sense that a meeting takes place on Afghanistan and Afghanistan itself is attending as a guest,” he emphasised.
But Mr Mohib clarified that the Afghan government welcomes all forms of Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace efforts. “Kabul officially recognised the Tashkent format as it was jointly held with Kabul. We do not give anyone the right to question our independence,” he explained.
But he cleared that the Moscow format was not a partnership for Afghanistan’s peace, because those who want to work with Afghanistan should support the leadership and the government of Afghanistan.
According to Mr. Mohib, the “Interim Government” proposal is demanded by those who cannot come to power in a legitimate, legal and democratic way.
“Other people who are favouring the interim government are the ones who want to sabotage the current administration”, Mr. Mohib believes. “I pointed out that one of the great achievements of Afghanistan in the past few years is the government. This system protects the lives and property of the people and protects the territorial integrity of Afghanistan. The current government guarantees the future of Afghanistan. ”
On how the Afghan parliamentary elections were held, Hamdullah Mohib described that although the Afghan people were worried about the election, Afghan parliamentary elections were seen to be held for the first time with Afghan management, which compared to the previous elections, was good in terms of security, as well as the new technology used, and it was definitely a good test for the upcoming presidential election.
“We can bring more transparency to the presidential election using the experiences we had in the parliamentary elections,” he pointed.
Mr. Mohib said that the Afghan government assures that it would provide facilities and readiness to hold the forthcoming elections on any date specified by the Independent Election Commission (IEC).
Hamed Ahmadi contributed reporting.
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