Analysts expect little from Afghan leaders' US trip
KABUL (Pajhwok): Some political commentators on Monday believed President Ashraf Ghani’s and CEO Abdullah Abdullah’s landmark visit to the US would yield no major outcome.
On their first visit to the US since taking office in September, Ghani and Abdullah reached Washington on Sunday and the two leaders are scheduled to meet President Barack Obama and other top American officials.
Wahid Muzhda, a political analyst, told Pajhwok Afghan News because of an incomplete cabinet and no breakthrough in peace parleys, the two leaders were visiting the US empty-handed.
However, before embarking on the five-day state visit, President Ghani nominated the remaining 16 members of his cabinet for introduction to parliament for their approval.
Muzhda said America and the international community aided governments that decisively fought corruption and the Afghan government had done nothing special in this regard to be acceptable to the international community.
Pointing to the Kabul Bank case, Muzhda said the president had vowed to reinvestigate the multimillion dollars scam, but failed. “The government now plans to sell the bank.”
“I don’t think the government’s action is acceptable to America… the president should have made significant achievements toward fighting corruption,” he said, adding that discussions over American forces’ stay in Afghanistan beyond 2016 were less important.
“Residual American forces would fail the peace process because the Taliban would never negotiate in their presence in our country,” Muzhda said.
The recent thaw in relations between Kabul and Islamabad has paved the ground for peace negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government.
President Ghani has said credible opportunities emerging this time for winning peace had eluded Afghanistan before.
He said peace negotiations would begin soon and the government would keep the people informed about any progress in the negotiations.
Few months back, the president had asked America not to take a hasty decision on its troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistan.
US officials had recently said that President Barak Obama’s administration would extend the exit plan on Ghani’s demand and until Afghanistan needed their support.
The NATO combat mission ended on January 1 and a new mission to train and assist Afghan forces began.
Some political analysts believed President Ghani’s current trip to the US was important and different from the visits by his predecessor Hamid Karzai.
One of them, Bashir Beizan said the president accompanied by several high officials were visiting the US after relations between the two countries hit an all-time low during former president Karzai last three years in office.
He said key issues were expected to be discussed among Ghani, Abdullah and high ranking US officials. “Afghan leaders should try to get maximum benefit from their maiden visit to the world’s sole superpower.
Bizen did not believe the visit would have positive outcome for Afghanistan, saying former president Hamid Karzai had paid similar international visits where he and his officials prioritised their personal interests.
President Ghani, in a recent interview with the CNN, said Afghanistan and the US were strategic partners and they wanted to work together on issues of mutual interest such as terrorism.
Meanwhile, a US official said the US considered various aid packages for the Afghan national unity government, which matched the Afghan president’s priorities as well.
President Ghani is accompanied on the landmark visit to the US by CEO, Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani, National Security Advisor Hanif Atmar, Finance Minister Eklil Hakimi, Chief of Army Staff Sher Mohammad Karimi and spymaster Rahmatullah Nabil.
Chief of Staff to the President Abdul Salam Rahimi, Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission Chairperson Seema Samar, Finance Advisor Omar Zakhilwal and High Peace Council Secretary Masoom Stanikzai are also part of the visiting team.
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