- On June 18, the command of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan transferred control of the situation to the Afghan security forces. What does this act mean for Afghans?
- This is a major event for the Afghan people, because 12 years have passed since the moment when a new process began in its life - International forces have begun to assist in maintaining the peace and security of the country. The fifth stage in the transfer of responsibility to the Afghan forces is being implemented. I think that our armed forces, the Afghan army and the police are ready to take responsibility for ensuring order and security in our country. This, of course, is not so simple, since our armed forces, power structures in terms of their equipment with various types of weapons and equipment are not yet in the best condition. We still do not have properly equipped air forces, artillery units that play an important role in the conduct of military operations. But we hope that with the help of friendly countries these problems can be solved, including issues of armaments and material support.
However, the very issue of ensuring security in the country is very complex, since it has both an internal and an external aspect. The most important thing here is to stop outside interference in our internal affairs. Unfortunately, there are still training centers for terrorists and extremists outside Afghanistan, and as long as they act, it will be very difficult for us alone to fight them.
- In Afghanistan, in general, the process of forming the structures of legislative and executive power has been completed - the parliament works, there is a legally elected president of the country, the government. Is the government system functioning smoothly or does it need improvement?
“12 years ago we started building a power vertical from scratch. Each military group, each formation, name, if you like, their parties, controlled a separate territory of Afghanistan. That is, in one state, in fact, there were several states. There was no constitution of the country acting on the whole territory, there was no common power structures. We started with the adoption of the constitution, and, by the way, from the point of view of its democratic principles and norms, including the protection of human rights, it is considered one of the best in the region. It was given a clear definition of the political system of the country. We have a presidential system of government. The country has held presidential elections twice, and our president, Mr. Hamid Karzai, is the elected president of the Afghan people.
We have legislative structures, the country has twice held parliamentary elections - to our national council, in which there are two chambers - upper and lower. A third branch of power has been formed - the judicial system, consisting of courts of first instance, courts of appeal and the country's supreme court. In other words, we already have a political system, although this does not at all mean the completion of the process of forming the vertical of power. It is not yet completely perfect, there are difficulties, largely due to the general state of the country, the continuation of hostilities.
- And what political forces are represented in the current parliament of the IRA and what positions do they advocate?
- We have a very interesting parliament in terms of its composition. In his upper and lower houses there are representatives of various political movements - from former mujahideen to, as we call them, former communists - people who worked under the regime that supported the Soviet Union. There are representatives of the Taliban and a number of other political forces. As for the parties, there is no such separation; the last elections were not held on party lists.
Unfortunately, political parties in Afghanistan are experiencing a major crisis, they have lost the trust of the people. Why? The formation of political parties in Afghanistan - left, right, centrist - began in the 1960-s. Moreover, there were parties that divided the Marxist-Leninist ideology, its Chinese interpretation — Maoism, the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood, the ideology of nationalism, etc. 27 April 1978, the People’s Democratic Party, considered leftist, seized power in the country. At first there was a certain confidence in her. The new government talked about creating a prosperous society. Nothing of the kind happened, and the party soon lost the cry of trust. Her coming to power is now associated with the beginning of the process of political and economic instability. The introduction of Soviet troops into Afghanistan and military operations all contributed to the weakening of its influence in Afghan society.
Next in power were the Mujahideen, various Islamist formations that fought against the regime and enjoyed strong financial and moral support from various states of the world. And again, the people expected that with their arrival life would get better, and there would be stability and order in the country. Unfortunately, these expectations also did not materialize. Created in Iran and Pakistan to fight against the existing formation regime, they started a very tough civil war for the seizure of power in the country, as a result of which the capital of the country Kabul was completely destroyed, more than 50 thousands of innocent civilians were killed. In Afghanistan, the army, which was previously considered one of the most combat-ready in the region, did not become, and the country disintegrated into territories under the control of political and armed groups.
I then lived in Kabul and remember that situation very well. You see, the city was divided into enclaves by groups. A large group disintegrated into smaller ones, and the enclave, respectively, also disintegrated into smaller territories. A hike into the territory of another group was tantamount to a hike to another country, across the border. But if there are any norms regulating movement between states, then everything is at the discretion of local commanders. In other words, it was necessary to have both a “passport” and a “visa”. But even if there was a “passport” and “visa”, the risk of not returning was very high. Such a situation took place in Kabul, and the people lost faith in political forces and parties. The Taliban have not rectified the situation. The credibility of the parties was undermined.
Now we do not have large political parties or parties of national scale. Previously, the country had one people's democratic party in Afghanistan, which was renamed the Vatan (Fatherland) Party, although at that stage there were disagreements between its two wings, Khalq and Brocade. Now in its place more than a dozen different factions that call themselves parties. The same fate befell other parties - the left, the right. Currently, the country has a law on political parties. In accordance with it, more than 100 parties have been registered, but their influence on the elections and the development of political processes in Afghanistan is extremely small. Not developed criteria, ideology and principles of formation of mass parties. This is a very big problem, because if we want Afghanistan to develop along a democratic path, we need to have political parties. Without their presence, a political system cannot be developed.
“And the Taliban?” Without solving this problem it is difficult to talk about peace, stability and development of the country ...
- One thing is clear: the Afghan conflict has no military solution. History shows that any war ends in peace. And now everyone understood that they needed to sit at the negotiating table. And in such a way to solve the problem. The events of recent days have shown the complexity of the process. What happened? We decided to open an office in Qatar for the Taliban. The Afghan government was in favor of opening it, because there was no address to whom to turn, or a meeting place. The United States also supported this idea. Qatar was chosen because of its longstanding relations with the Taliban. At one time he recognized the leadership of the Taliban at the head of Afghanistan. A few days ago it was opened. But immediately there was a problem with the sign, which read: "The political representation of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan." So the Taliban called Afghanistan. This provoked strong protests from the Afghan government. Because previously reached agreements on this issue were violated. This office should be only as the address of the Taliban, and not as the political representation of a parallel government. This approach contributes to the continuation of the war. They later removed the sign and lowered the Taliban flag.
The Afghan leadership believes that the peace talks should be held exclusively under the leadership of the Afghans themselves, without other countries interfering in this process. The Afghan people, the Afghans themselves can and must resolve this issue. If any countries want to help, provide some kind of assistance, then in no case should it grow into direct intervention in the negotiation process.
- One of the serious problems of Afghanistan, and not only it, is drug traffic, which originates from the territory of your country ...
- Afghanistan has always been a farmer and will be it. As for drug production, this problem is again due to the tragedy experienced. This is the result and continuation of the war. When people talk about the Afghan nature of heroin, Afghan drugs, I disagree with this question. Not the Afghan people invented heroin.
If you go back to a peaceful Afghanistan 30-year-old, when there was no war, political and economic stability was observed, although the people lived rather poorly, they didn’t know at all what heroin and drug addiction were. Yes, then some people smoked hashish. They were called hashishnikami. But how did society relate to hashishmen? They tried not to be friends with them, all parents told their children not to play with children of gashishnikovs. They avoided entering into family ties with them, tried to distance themselves from them. And there were many examples when gashishniki under the pressure of relatives - wives, children - refused this bad habit, because it was considered a shame to be even a relative of a gashishnik. There were units of such hashishnikov, 4 – 5 people per village.
But the war left its mark: we have a lot of drug addicts. The Afghan government is making great efforts to stop the production of drugs. Islam completely forbids it. However, three problems - terrorism, extremism and drug production - are strongly intertwined with each other. And they are not all of Afghan origin. At a certain stage in the history of Afghanistan has become a victim of these three phenomena and, unfortunately, continues to remain.
- Does Afghanistan count on interaction with which countries of the world in terms of restoring the country?
- The policy of our country is aimed at maintaining good relations with all countries of the world. There is such a criterion: that is our best friend, who assists in the restoration of our common home - the national economy. That is, the doors of Afghanistan are open to all friends, to all countries. We pay great attention to relations with our neighbors in the region, and, of course, relations with the Russian Federation.
These relationships are rooted in history. In 1919, Soviet Russia was the first to recognize the independence of Afghanistan, and independent Afghanistan became the first state to recognize Soviet Russia. Since then, our relations have successfully developed, the Soviet Union made a great contribution to the economic development of Afghanistan, having built in our country more than 140 large economic facilities, about which the Afghan people have kept a good memory. And now our relations in political terms are at a very good level, there is a mutual understanding on many issues. In my opinion, Russia could make a big contribution to restoring the economy of Afghanistan. She became the legal successor of the Soviet Union. In the post-Soviet space a large number of independent states, including in Central Asia, have appeared, but taking into account the historical past of our relations, the enormous military, political and economic influence that Russia has in the region and the world, it is still understood by Afghans our big northern neighbor. We count on her help and support.
I think it is very important if Russia helps us in the first place in restoring the economic facilities that it had previously built. Since these objects are not just for economic purposes, they are symbols of the Afghan-Russian friendship. Take the Salang Pass or the same Jalalabad irrigation complex - what is this, if not symbols of our friendship? Until now, many Afghans remember with great gratitude and love those Russians who helped to build these objects. The Afghan people are waiting for Russian companies, businessmen, investors to come back to the Afghan land and take part in all the work to restore the economy of Afghanistan. The whole world is engaged in this, and Russia should be one of the most active participants in this process.
- Thanks for the interview. In conclusion, I would like to wish the people of Afghanistan a peaceful life. The rest, as they say, will follow.