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Taliban should know, it's not 'Afghanistan of 1996', says a former Minister under Ghani

WebdeskAug 20, 2021, 07:20 AM IST

Taliban should know, it's not 'Afghanistan of 1996', says a former Minister under Ghani

                                                                                                                                                                         Nirendra Dev

 

A former Minister in the Ghani government, Masoud Andarabi, said Pakistanis would have to be convinced to accept' the new way of life.

 

New Delhi: Miracle seems to happen, and there is a 'renewed' fighting instinct of the common Afghan people, including women who want to take the Taliban by their horns.

 

Protests' foot march was carried out in parts of Kabul and in some other pockets as well.

 

Close on the heels of assertion by Afghan Vice President Amrullah Saleh that 'war' is not over and that Pakistan cannot 'swallow' Afghanistan, a former Minister in the Ghani government, Masoud Andarabi, said Pakistanis would have to be convinced to 'accept' the new way of life."

 

This is not the 'Afghanistan of 1996' when the Taliban came to Kabul and (people's) voices were very limited and stopped. The new development in technology and social media will carry on,"

 

Andarabi told Republic TV in an interview on Thursday evening.

 

He said for years, Taliban have been 'instruments' of Pakistan, which is why pressure on the Taliban will "not be enough".

 

"....at the same time, we must make sure that Pakistanis who have been harbouring them (Taliban) will have to comply with the new Afghanistan and new international laws and new values.

 

He said a lot has changed in Afghanistan compared to in 1996 when the Taliban first seized power in that country and ruled with an iron fist.

 

"People in the last 20 years have chosen a new way of life. The people, and particularly the new generation, was very much in favour of a democratic Afghanistan and the rule of law and also the new values," he said.  

 

 

He admitted it is true the elected government under President Ashraf Ghani has 'collapsed', yet "...it does not mean the mentality of the people have changed".

 

In this context, he said he is "not surprised to see the people taking to the streets with the national flag".

 

The Afghan people want to "continue" with the accomplishments of the last 20 years, the former minister asserted.

 

Andarabi had developed differences and thus had to resign earlier this year.

 

To a question on the 'ousted' president Ghani, Andarabi said the president did not understand the "depth of the issue" when the US forces were leaving and also that he (Ghani) was circled by a very small group of advisors who were advising him "based on his mood".

 

Asked whether the Taliban could use 'brute force' to curb protest and dissent, Andarabi said, at this stage, the Taliban know that the "world is watching them. So certainly they will not be very brutal and they will allow some sort of openness."

 

However, he said such a thing of co-existence and peace are "not in the roots of Taliban".

 

Instead, he said violence and destruction are in their roots.

 

"So I don't think they will be able to continue with their promise (of peace and amity) and take 'harsh' measures," he said.

 

Lately, Saleh has blasted the “Pak backed oppression and brutal dictatorship.”

 

“I can never be under one ceiling with Taliban," he has said from Saleh is in Panjshir Valley, the only well-known locality which has still not fallen to the Taliban.

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