Former Afghanistan President, Hamid Karzai, now living in exile in the UAE, has stated it is now time for the international community to work with the Taliban, as the reality on the ground is that the militant group control the country and must be worked with, to prevent millions of Afghans from starving to death.
Karzai said the international community needs to prioritize getting much-needed aid to Afghans and, for now, forget its mistrust of the Taliban in order to help the Afghans.
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“The reality on the ground is that the Taliban are now the de facto authorities in the country,” Karzai said to CNN’s Becky Anderson.
Back in August, the Taliban took control of Afghanistan after a rapid military take over the country displacing Afghan special forces and resistant groups, causing the US and Western nations to flee.
The capital, Kabul, fell shortly after the last US troops left the country, effectively ending the longest war in US history and ceding power to the same group Washington had ousted shortly after the initial invasion in 2001.
Following the Taliban’s collapse in 2001, Karzai became the first democratically elected president.
Much of the world has yet to formally recognize the new Taliban government out of fear they would govern the way they did in the past. Under the Taliban’s rule, women were barred from education and jobs, while men were forced to grow beards under the group’s interpretation of Islamic law.
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To prevent money from falling into Taliban hands, countries have frozen billions of dollars in aid and Afghan assets overseas, crippling a country already heavily dependent on foreign assistance.
When asked about how the world could get behind the Taliban who perform atrocities, extrajudicial executions and killings,
Karzai said “the issue of atrocities is a very unfortunate part of our lives.” He added that atrocities have been committed “by all sides.”
Speaking about a US-proposed measure to ease the restrictions on support flowing into Afghanistan, Karzai said he “welcomes the resolution.”
“It may not be enough, but it is a start,” he said.
Karzai then added that his days in government are over and that he has “no other desire in that form anymore and will never have.”
“I would like to live here as a citizen and do all I can for this country, for the children of this country as a citizen so we can live in a peaceful, stable and dignified country,” he said.
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