Former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani agreed on Sunday that the Trump administration’s deal with the Taliban, which was to lead to the withdrawal of US troops from the country, was a disaster.
Speaking on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS,” Ghani told host Fareed Zakaria that he criticized the Afghan government’s exclusion from the initial talks.
Ghani declined to say whether he felt betrayed by the US, but when Zakaria asked, “Do you think Trump’s deal with the Taliban was a disaster?” Ghani replied, “That was it,” adding that he believed the Afghanistan-led part of the process had been “hijacked.”
“We were excluded from the peace table and the peace process was incredibly flawed. It is an assumption that the Taliban had changed – a delusion,’ he added. “The trial violates everything – from Acheson and Marshall to Kissinger and Baker, regarding preparation, regarding organization, we never got into discussions. It was all foreplay.”
Ghani also told Zakaria that Trump initially said his strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia would be a conditional deal.
“This agreement would be conditional. But none of the core conditions were not observed alone. The government, our partner, the government of the United States became the enforcer of the Taliban accord on us, threatened us with aid cut, using every imaginable pressure to release 5,000 of the most hardened criminals, et cetera. Ghani told Zakaria.
Ghani’s comments come almost a year after the US’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, which was ultimately carried out by the Biden administration.
The withdrawal of the troops led to the Taliban regaining full control of the country, causing thousands of Afghan civilians to flee the country desperately in fear. The country is plagued by high unemployment rates, rising food insecurity and hardships for women seeking education.
Ghani, who fled the country amid the chaos, told Zakaria that he hopes to return to Afghanistan in the near future.
“I want to be able to help my country heal,” Ghani said. “And I hope to be able to do that from where every cell of my body belongs and without which I always feel strange.”
Updated 6:16 PM