No country has made progress through charity aid, said Pir Mohammad Molazehi.
On December 10, Aftab-e Yazd, a daily, carried a report on the comments of Pir Mohammad Molazehi, an Afghanistan expert, on the reasons behind some of the problems the Central Asian country is grappling with. The following is a partial translation of what he said:
Molazehi blamed the present woes of Afghanistan on a lack of integrity on the part of countries which supposedly help it, as well as on wrong investment policies, insecurity and corruption.
As for foreign aid to the country, he said, “The countries which offer aid to Afghanistan have failed to demonstrate the kind of sincerity which could inject dynamism into the economy and address the problems Afghan people are dealing with.”
Instead of investment in Afghanistan or direct financial aid to the Afghan government, America and some European countries have offered aid to private firms. Not only has it not resulted in injecting dynamism into the economy or helping the government but it has given rise to massive corruption. The case involving Kabul Bank is an illustrative example of such corruption.
Following the influx of cash by private American and European firms, some political Afghan elites raked in legendary fortunes and accumulated wealth by setting up economic institutions and corruption gangs and investing in banks in Dubai and elsewhere overseas.
As a result, foreign currency funds allocated to resolving Afghan problems flowed out of the country and in some cases returned to the countries from which they had come.
Over the past 13 years, as much as $15 billion has been injected into Afghanistan. But that has had no impact on its economy, nor has it tackled the woes that Afghan people are faced with.
As for the 2014 London Conference on Afghanistan, and other gatherings with similar purposes, he said, “No country has made progress through charity aid and a country’s economy won’t turn dynamic through the infusion of corrupt cash like what has taken place in Afghanistan. The solution to the crisis lies at the heart of this land. In terms of natural resources like oil, natural gas, iron ore and copper the country is extremely rich.”
“NATO countries and America entered Afghanistan in 2001 under the pretext of the war on terrorism. They, however, have failed to defeat militias in the country. Maybe they have not sought to drive them out of the picture in the first place. The insecurity that emanates from acts of terror in Afghanistan is one of the obstacles in the way of the nation’s development.
During the 13-year presence of foreign troops there which kept thousands of military forces on the ground, no positive step has been taken to take on terrorism and ensure security. Terrorist cells of the Taliban and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar [the founder of the Hezb-e Islami political party] still keep operating there. In the absence of security, no progress will be made,” the analyst stated.
Molazehi is of the opinion that by keeping Afghan security forces dependent on themselves, foreign troops in Afghanistan interfere with anti-terrorism activities.
In terms of the Afghan election and US role in it he said, “The intervention by US Secretary of State John Kerry, which resulted in the appointment of Ashraf Ghani as president and his contender Abdullah Abdullah as CEO after months of dispute and allegations of rigging, was in fact skirting the vote.
The current National Unity Government is made up of only two political groups and other political tribes and factions do not play a role in the government. The tribes which have been excluded from the Afghan political landscape are likely to take up arms against the central government, and the country might once again descend into chaos.
If that came to pass, the country would be gripped by more problems than ever. Besides, under the US-Afghan security agreement, which was signed by the Afghan government and later passed by parliament, America has guaranteed its military presence in the country until 2024.”