Khalilzad blames corruption of Afghan elites for stalled political change
Update: 29 October 2021 16:30 STI
Kabul [Afghanistan], Oct. 29 (ANI): Former US Special Envoy for Peace in Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad called the corruption of Afghan elites the cause of the failure of political transformation in the country and asserted that United States had succeeded in transforming education and infrastructure in Afghanistan.
Khalilzad accused the elites of being selfish and corrupt and said the country had lost the “golden” opportunity, TOLOnews reported citing an interview with Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
“We did not transform politics to have an enlightened national interest focused on the elites serving their people. They became very selfish, self-centered, corrupt and failed in this mission,” Khalilzad said, quoted by TOLOnews.
Khalilzad added that Afghan society has seen a transformation in terms of education and dismantling terrorism and claimed that the United States has succeeded in doing so.
“The elites we worked with did not live up to the opportunity, this golden opportunity, that the American engagement offered. in terms of dismantling terrorism, transforming Afghan society and education, “said the former envoy, quoted by the news channel.
Khalilzad added that the Biden administration had been driven to pessimism about a political settlement in Afghanistan due to President Ashraf Ghani’s insistence on remaining in power, which ultimately did not allow the United States to have a conditional withdrawal instead of a time-based withdrawal, according to TOLOnews. .
“We were all surprised by the intransigence, frankly, of President Ghani who insisted on staying in power until the end of his term despite being re-elected in a fraudulent election in which very few Afghans participated, “Khalilzad said, quoted by TOLOnews.
Khalilzad further attributed the reason for the disbelief of the people in the system and the unwillingness of the soldiers to risk their lives, to corruption among the Afghan elites.
“The performance of the Afghan security forces, I think, was another surprise. I think that very few people would have expected that this force of 300,000 against a force of 60,000 to 70,000, with all the equipment and having the American military support, would disintegrate and not fight ”, a- he added. (ANI)