The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

Opportunities & responsibilities

The conditions are ripe for Afghanistan to rise up as a responsible and independent member of the international community and to fulfill its responsibility in promoting global peace and security. The international community,  on its part, should reciprocate by welcoming Afghanistan into its fold while paying respect to its independence and assisting it to stand on its feet. Our foreign policy will be based on a balanced and independent approach that avoids entanglement in global and regional rivalries. We will pursue opportunities for shared interests and peaceful coexistence, based on the principle of equality and respect.  As for our internal affairs,  which have at times been misconceived or misconstrued, there remains the need to dispel misinformation and depict an accurate picture of the values and needs of Afghanistan. The religious and cultural sensibilities of our society require a cautious approach. Any government that has not maintained the proper equilibrium, pertaining to such sensibilities, has ultimately faced serious difficulties. This is a lesson that our recent history has emphasized over and over again. We believe in dialogue and an exchange of ideas, in an atmosphere free from political or economic pressures, and aimed at finding practical solutions and dispelling misunderstandings. Past experiences show that weaponizing human suffering does not bear fruit. Alleviating the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan is our joint moral responsibility.  Seeking to obtain political concessions by perpetuating mass suffering is neither civilized nor morally justifiable.  The primary cause of the ongoing economic crisis is the imposition of sanctions and banking restrictions by the United States. This impedes and delays our efforts to address the humanitarian crisis. The only path that respects the dignity of the Afghan people requires the lifting of sanctions and other commercial restrictions on the country. Space should be created to nurture the spirit and initiative of the Afghan people. Moreover, the U.S. should unfreeze Afghanistan’s frozen assets, and in line with the Doha agreement, lift all sanctions. What moral and political justifications can the U.S. have for imposing crippling sanctions on a war-torn nation?  We remind the U.S. and others that sanctions and pressures do not resolve differences. Only mutual trust does. Afghanistan has a history of failed states and collapsed governments. Not even global powers and grand alliances were able to prevent this. What would be the consequence of weakening this government?  Surely, such a scenario will be accompanied by a great human tragedy that will not be limited to Afghanistan, but rather ushers in new and unforeseen security, refugee, economic, health and other challenges for our neighbors, the region and the world.  The bitter reality is that over the past two decades, the Afghan economy was made wholly dependent on foreign aid, almost to the point of addiction. With the screeching halt of foreign aid, there is now a need to address the basic and fundamental needs of the Afghan people.  We recommend that aid should prioritize the creation of jobs and the completion of infrastructural projects with a durable impact.  Simply handing out bags of money will not result in sustainable livelihoods for millions of people unless the domestic economy is revived.  The first prerequisite for that is the removal of sanctions, to pave way for the private sector to be revitalized.  All obstacles to transnational trade, extraction of natural resources,  and the implementation of national mega projects should be removed. We, on our part, remain committed to ensuring a conducive environment and to working with all states based on our shared interests.  A self-reliant Afghanistan is in the interest of everyone while failed Afghanistan jeopardizes all.  There is a need for the international community to establish political and economic relations with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, while respecting its sovereignty and territorial integrity.  We have made important progress in the past year and a half. This, despite the fact that we inherited a collapsed narcostate,  with an emptied treasury, unpaid bills, millions of drug addicts, rampant corruption, universal poverty and unemployment and a stagnant economy. We established a professional security force, maintained nationwide security and ensured that no one uses the territory of Afghanistan against other countries. We have completely banned the cultivation of drugs. We welcome those that remain skeptical to visit Afghanistan and witness these undeniable facts up close.  Similarly, for the first time in decades, an Afghan government procured its budget entirely from domestic revenues. In the past, over two-thirds of the government budget was comprised of foreign grants. Moreover, the government has nationalized economic institutions, ensuring that these institutions serve their domestic mandates.  In January, the World Bank’s latest report reflected these advances. Furthermore, the government has clamped down on corruption, which, in the past, resulted in Afghanistan being listed at the top of the most corrupt countries. It has also facilitated movement for Afghans who wish to travel domestically or move overseas. This was done to address the demand of the international community; we also retained around 500,000 members of the previous administration, while increasing the size of the public sector. We do acknowledge that there remain challenges and shortcomings. But their solution requires time, means and cooperation.  Broadly speaking, virtually all countries of the world have problems of their own. Yet, we choose to assist and alleviate, rather than shun and exacerbate. Let us recall that the international military coalition of the past two decades brought in hundreds of thousands of troops, and expended trillions of dollars, yet were unable to obtain their desired outcome. Even now, they have chosen to live in the past, rather than turn a new leaf. They have repeatedly chosen to turn a blind eye to the positive steps of the government, and have only adopted a policy of accusations and pressure. Hence, there remains a need to understand and accept the reality that one hand cannot clap


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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.