Hassan Ali Edalat in the live broadcast Mohammad Hossein Jafarian on November 10, 2021
Hassan Ali Edalat is a well-known politician from the time of communist rule in Kabul. He taught in the sociology faculty of Kabul University for a long time, has the master of philosophy from Moscow University, and studied Islamic law in Kabul; both in the Shiite and Sunni colleges. In the post-communist government period, he has worked to unite the groups that emerged from mujahideen and were divided among themselves.
Jafarian: Mr. Edalat. I have read several articles by you about Mr. Khalilzad. He has a very complex character and the plethora of his activities is also very complex. His role in Afghanistan’s present is crucial.
Zalmi Khalilzad was the U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan for years and U.S. ambassador to Iraq for a while. But he is from the Pashtun areas in the south of the country. He played the lead role in the process of Taliban takeover. In an interview with the Afghan TV station Tolo, he said, „We-meaning U.S.-are currently experiencing our defeat in Afghanistan.
Mr. Edalat, please talk about Mr. Khalilzad and explain his role.
Edalat: Khalilzad was an influential player in the Republican foreign policy apparatus. His wife is an American Jew. He has long followed developments in Afghanistan and knows many leaders of jihadist groups personally. He also had good relations with them during Taliban’s first period in power. From his escapades with Unocal company, it is known that he played an important role between Taliban and Unocal, which only caused a stir and did not lead to anything else. He had to repay five million dollars he had collected from Unocal and left the company.
Khalilzad plays a defining role in the political scene in Afghanistan, which was immensely important to Taliban’s revival and rise to power. But the crucial question is how he convinced the Trump administration and Mike Pompeo that the Tlaliban are not the same terrorist Taliban of the past and why they can be considered a friend of America, even though their names are still on CIA blacklists and some of them were at Guantanamo.
It is hard to believe, after all, that they would have changed overnight. Such a force that the U.S. had spent billions of $, used 340 million a day to eliminate, and had driven out themselves, now arm them with so much armaments and put them back in power? They left to let Taliban have the weapons, so that maybe in the future they would move towards Iran, or Azerbaijan, or Tajikistan, or Central Asia. But that would be the next problem with the conspiracy theory.
What was supposed to happen in Afghanistan did not happen. Now we come to the heart of the problem. It should be remembered that Khalilzad, Karzei, Ghani, all of them found it intolerable that Tajiks were involved in power in the short term! The point here is that just for a short time the power in Afghanistan was snatched from the elite of Pashtun origin, which they could not allow. That is why they participated in the transfer of power to Taliban.
It is well known that Taliban are supported by Pakistan. Their genesis and their camps were and are in Pakistan. The actors who facilitated their return are those who are serving the U.S. and have done a lot with U.S. support and funding. For example, they have directly or indirectly given millions of dollars to Taliban in the peace talks to bring them back to power. One thing should not go unmentioned here: Mr. Khalilzad, Mr. Karzai, and Mr. Ashraf Ghani thought the following about Pakistan: If we help the Taliban to power, it will be in our favor. Because, then we are no longer in the clutches of Pakistani intelligence. Then Pashtuns will live united with each other, in one country and on the same soil. Of course, Pakistanis knew about this. Pakistan has smart politicians and diplomats.
That’s when someone who used to serve in the Democratic Khalgh Party, had a close relationship with ISI (Pakistani intelligence), and lived in London came into play. He was slipped into Khalilzad’s side as an associate, supported him, and reported to Pakistani intelligence what he was doing. Thus, he was under their control.
Khalilzad had a desire to run the country himself for 4-5 years 6-7 months after Taliban came to power, after a period of provisional rule. Pakistanis had promised him that after a brief interim government, circumstances would be set up so that he could take over leadership of the country. In the same way, Pakistanis had also promised some things to Iranians, including Qatar. They had also misled Russian politicians. In the same way, they had deceived Khalilzad.
Taliban operate at their own convenience and are removed from Khalilzad’s control. Still, there is the question of how Khalilzad convinced American politicians that Taliban were America’s friends.
Jafarian: It is said that Mr. Khalilzad played the role to support the extremist Pashtun current, with the aim of convincing the White House that there was a possibility that Tajiks and Uzbeks would head toward Russia and Iran, and therefore it would not make sense to invest in them. And that would have led to Americans giving their consent to the elimination of non-Pashtun ethnic groups.
Extremist Pashtuns have brought disaster on their own people. They have caused the present situation in Afghanistan, displacing Hazaras and Uzbeks. They perpetrated the terrorist attacks on Tajik personalities both in Karzai’s time and in Ghani’s time. Under Ghani, this terror reached a particular height. Even spiritual personalities like Moulavi Naaman and Moulavi Mohsen and Moulavi Dr. Ayaz Niazi they eliminated. And even with Mr. Karzai, General Dawood, Mr. Samangari and Professor Rabbani, for example, took their turn. All these people who were non-Pashtun greats they eliminated. They destroyed the great figures of other ethnicities. They somehow convinced the White House that if his desire was to fortify his influence, then the others should be separated from power and given only a showcase position, leaving power to us Pashtuns. Such involvement is said to have been granted to Mr. Khalilzad. Is this true?
Edalat: I agree one hundred percent with your analysis. Perhaps you have read the memoirs of Robert Gates. He says:Once I sat with Karzai. He said:The Taliban did not pose a problem. They were an aggrieved people and posed no threat to Afghanistan; nor to the United States. The main danger, he said, came from the warlords. He said that „if you support us, we will weaken Taliban.“ Then the problem with them will also be eliminated.
That is obvious, and I have shown you before that they are a team. For example, Khalilzad, Ghani, Karzai, and some other people have helped in the realization of the said plan and convinced Americans to get rid of those who used to chase Taliban. And as you have seen for yourself, this has been practiced and most of them have been eliminated.
In terms of information policy, the Pashtun elite convinced not only the Americans but also the Europeans – and they were successful in this – that Tajiks were close to the Russians and could never escape their influence, and Uzbeks were close to the Central Asian states, Uzbekistan and Russia. And Hazaras were servants and henchmen of Iran. And they were convinced of that.
At the same time, Hazaras are in no way subordinate to Iranian service. Besides, in what way should Iran have ever supported them? They have not received a single weapon from Iran. Hazaras have not committed any terrorist attack in the last 20 years and have the most terrorist casualties in Afghanistan.