ISI, Pakistan Army have hijacked hopes of people: Ex-Afghan intelligence chief
Former National Directorate of Security (NDS) Chief Amrullah Saleh stated that Pakistan's intelligence services and army have "hijacked the hopes of the people" of both Afghanistan and Pakistan by supporting terrorist organisation Taliban and influencing the situation in Afghanistan through violence.
"We have been suffering many of these years because Pakistan has unleashed, in the words of my President, an undeclared war on the Afghan state. They (Pakistan) created the Taliban, and they still continue to provide training, equipment, logistical support and sanctuary for the Taliban. Even the Taliban leaders who travelled to Doha to meet the US envoy for negotiations, they travelled from Pakistan," Saleh told ANI.
The politico further opined that had there been no Pakistan support for Taliban, Afghanistan would have been a peaceful country. "The Afghan people have always desired a normal relationship with Pakistan, but unfortunately Pakistan Army, Pakistan intelligence services have hijacked the hopes of both the people in Afghanistan and people in Pakistan and have tried to dictate a relationship based on their willingness to support terrorist groups like Taliban and influence the situation in my country through violence," he added.
Saleh, while launching a scathing attack against the "outdated manifesto of the Taliban", stated that they are politically not appealing to the Afghan people. "Violence is like their shield, violence is their skin. If they stop violence as a political movement they will not survive long, that's why they insist on the continuation on violence." Saleh further stated that he believes that the Taliban will not survive long if they join negotiations and agree to be a part of the democratic processes.
"As a victim of terrorism and as a victim of violence unleashed by the government of Pakistan against us, we have always desired for peace, harmony, trade and for cooperation, expansion of cultural ties, but none of those wishes have been realised or come true and the agenda has unfortunately been dominated by the issue of terrorism and violence."
Dwelling upon the relationship between India and Afghanistan, Saleh said "India has assisted and stood behind democracy and democratic processes in Afghanistan, which has empowered Afghan people to freely express their will, elect their leaders. India's principled position on policy to work with Afghanistan has given it special status of trusted neighbour."
Saleh also highlighted India's support for democracy in Afghanistan, and mentioned how India built the Parliament building in Afghanistan and supported democratic process in the form of capacity-building as a staunch supporter of Afghanistan to entrench the culture of democracy. "India is not afraid of democracy getting further entrenched and institutionalised in Afghanistan. It sees strengthening of democracy as good for expansion of relations (between the two countries)," he added.
Speaking about Afghanistan's investment in India-backed Chabahar port, Saleh stated "investment in Chabahar is not a waste. Iran will not remain under sanctions forever. India is a rising economy and power in the region. Investment in Chabahar is a good investment, it's a noble idea. It will bring India and Afghanistan strategically closer. Trade between the two countries will expand; we will bypass the physical barriers which has caused trade between India and Afghanistan to remain limited."