Politics, Asia - Pacific

Afghans irked by former US vice president

In a debate, Joe Biden has claimed ‘there’s no possibility' to unite Afghanistan

Shadi Khan Saif   | 10.02.2020
Afghans irked by former US vice president

KABUL, Afghanistan

Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden’s remarks that there is "no possibility" to unite Afghanistan has evoked sharp reactions in the war-torn country.

Sediq Sediqqi, the spokesman for Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani reminded that his country has shown resilience to defeat every invasion.

“Afghanistan fought and stood as a whole nation to the face of tyrants such as the Soviet Invasion, Terrorism invasion and now, it is in the front lines so that the other nations are safer. ISIS [Daesh] & the Taliban, the major terror networks and the enemies of the world are defeated here," he said while responding to Biden on Twitter.

Besides Afghans, the international partners have also flayed the former U.S vice president for his statement.

“Sad to see Biden’s insulting and ignorant comment about « no possibility to unite Afghanistan». It also demonstrates a fundamental lack of respect for and knowledge of Afghanistan and its people,” Kai Eide, the UN Secretary General’s former envoy to Afghanistan, said in a statement.

Biden -- seen as the architect of current National Unity Government in Kabul in 2014 – said he was against “the notion of nation-building in Afghanistan” and that “the only thing we should be doing is dealing with terrorism in that region.”

Addressing a debate in New Hampshire, Biden said, there was no possibility to unite Afghanistan. “No possibility at all of making it a whole country. But it is possible to see they are not able to launch more attacks," he added.

Analysts believe, Biden, like many other contenders for the top post in the U.S. government, is aiming to utilize the popular public sentiments in this election year, regardless of their own past beliefs and actions.

Nizamuddin Katawazi, the director of Peace and Human Rights Organization in Kabul told Anadolu Agency that Biden when in office as the 47th vice president of the U.S. in 2009-2017, was a staunch believer in nation-building in Afghanistan.

“Now, he [Biden] seems to be exploiting the growing resentment in the U.S. towards the longest war of their history. But such remarks for short-term political gains should not overshadow the long-term strategic partnership between the two countries,” he warned.

“Whatever it takes, we should do it,” Biden said in one of his speeches, soon after the Taliban government in Kabul was toppled in 2001.

Taking a jab at this, former Afghan President Hamid Karzai in a statement called Biden's remarks on Afghanistan "irresponsible" and "unrealistic", adding: “It is evident that the U.S. has never sought nation-building in Afghanistan."

The office of Ghani told Anadolu Agency that such remarks cannot replace the historic ground realities.

Durani Jawed Waziri, the deputy spokeswoman for the presidency said: “History is testimony to the fact that the Afghans have kept their unity even in some of the testing times against the enemies, and we are going to stay united as a nation.”

For his decisive role in brokering the National Unity Government agreement in Kabul after the troubled 2014 presidential polls, many Afghans are already unhappy with Biden for the "weak and divided" government, Katawazi also said.

Among the potential Democrat contenders, Sen. Bernie Sanders remained at the top in a new NBC News/Marist poll of New Hampshire getting 25% of likely Democratic primary voters, while Biden ranked fourth with only 13%.

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