Express News Service

THIRUVANTHAPURAM:  The Taliban’s resurgence and swift takeover of Kabul was made possible due to the ‘historic mistakes’ committed by former president Hamid Karzai, said Mohammad Zahir Aghbar, the Afghanistan ambassador to Tajikistan.

Speaking to TNIE from Dushanbe, Aghbar accused Karzai of allowing the Taliban to entrench in the northern parts of the war-torn country. “The intelligence reports said Karzai administration was facilitating the Taliban’s growth in the  northern parts. He did not approve military actions against the Taliban, addressed them as brothers and freed the Taliban prisoners. It’s because of the mistakes of the Karzai administration that Afghanistan is in this grave situation.” 

Karzai was in power for a decade since 2004. The former president has joined a coordination council alongside Abdullah Abdullah and politician Gulbuddin Hekmatyar to negotiate with the Taliban upon their return.  Aghbar did not spare Abdullah Abdullah, saying the former Chief Executive of Afghanistan  did not standing up to the corruption and nepotism of Ashraf Ghani.

Ghani had recruited top army officers loyal to him, but did not check their credentials, Aghbar claimed. “The military officials appointed by Ghani seem to have made deals with the Taliban and that resulted in easy surrender. Those in the bottom of the chain of command easily gave up their positions to Taliban.” 

Meanwhile, he also appreciated the ongoing talks between Taliban and other political and ethic leaders. “The country needs peace. No one will win by fighting. Leaders like Abdul Rashid Dostum and Atta Mohammad Noor also want an inclusive government. But Taliban should not repeat what they did in the past. If they try to impose a gruesome rule, then we will resist it.”

Aghbar, meanwhile, welcomed Khalil Haqqani’s peace overtures to  Ahmad Shah Massoud’s son Ahmad Massoud.  The Afghanistan ambassador said Massoud’s son Ahmed Massoud had started preparations to face the Taliban at the Panjshir Valley — the only province still out of Taliban control — almost four months ago when the scenario was growing worse. “He had prepared the headquarters and named the proposed offensive as resistance 2.0,” Aghbar added.

Massoud, former vice-president and self-proclaimed acting president of Afghanistan Amrullah Saleh and former defence minister General Bismillah Mohammadi are the leaders of this resistance. The Taliban had earlier claimed Ahmed Massoud had  joined hands with it. But, Ahmed Massoud, the leader of the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan, has maintained that he would follow in his father’s footsteps and won’t surrender to the Taliban, who have seized the country after the US and allied forces left Kabul.There are now reports of foreign agencies that the Taliban saying that “hundreds” of its fighters were heading to the Panjshir Valley, which is one of the few regions of Afghanistan not under its control.

Polio vax for Afghan refugees: Govt

India has decided to vaccinate Afghanistan returnees against polio for free as a preventive measure against the wild polio virus, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Sunday. Afghanistan and Pakistan are the only two countries in the world where polio is still endemic. “We have decided to vaccinate Afghanistan returnees with free polio vaccine as a preventive measure against Wild Polio Virus. Congratulations to the health team for its efforts,” Mandaviya tweeted.