Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah on Friday criticized National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib for questioning the efforts of the US Special Representative for Afghan Peace Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad for a peaceful settlement in the country.
Over the past two days, Mohib at various public forums — during an appearance at a Washington DC- based think-tank and in an interaction with reporters — described the US’s talks with the Taliban as surrender discussion.
He said that Khalilzad is keeping the “duly elected” Afghan government in dark and that in the latest round of talks in Doha, they were humiliated and made to wait in a hotel lobby.
“We don’t know what’s going on. We don’t have the kind of transparency that we should have,” Mohib told reporters at a news conference on Thursday.
He said the Afghan government was getting the information in bits and pieces.
“The last people to find out (about the peace talks) are us,” Mohib added.
Abdullah said the United States is a good strategic partner of Afghanistan and that making remarks that would affect the partnership, should be made cautiously.
“Our relations with our international partners require more caution and concentration while making remarks. Because it is clear that United States is one of our best international partners,” said Abdullah.
Din Mohammad Jurat, former advisor to the National Security Council, said the remarks are “irresponsible”.
“You see such a mess. Recently Deputy State Secretary has summoned our National Security Advisor and asked him to take back his irresponsible remarks because it is insuring our (US) nation,” Jurat said.
Meanwhile, political figures close to President Ashraf Ghani’s election team criticized the US, Taliban talks.
“Whatever it (peace talks) is, it is a concern for the Afghan government because government has not received accurate reports from Qatar’s backdoor talks,” Sadiq Mudabir, former head of the Administrative Office of the President.
“Under Secretary for Political Affairs David Hale summoned Afghan National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib today to reject the public comments attributed to National Security Advisor Mohib criticizing the US approach to reconciliation,” State Department deputy spokesman Robert Palladino said.
However, Mohib said in a twitter post on Friday evening said that he concluded an eventful trip to Washington, DC. "I met with many friends of Afghanistan, including in the government, Congress, think tanks, and the media. I voiced our people’s legitimate concerns and made Afghanistan’s principled position clear," he said.
He said the Afghan people and government value our partnership with the United States and are especially grateful for America’s generous support to our armed forces.
Mohib added that as foundational partners, Afghans will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with the United States to fight terrorism in order to ensure our joint security interests, as well as in pursuit of an honest, transparent, and just peace.
"In that regard, I would particularly caution the Afghan presidential hopefuls to exercise restraint and not end up on the wrong side of history. The country will judge you on how you treat your own, not what you do for others. Patriotism above all," he concluded.