Angry, Bitter, and Ignored in Afghanistan

Ahmed Quraishi
4 min readFeb 8, 2019

Angry, Bitter, and Ignored in Afghanistan

Analysis Published on 🔗

The biggest threat to peace in Afghanistan today, ironically, comes not from extremists, though Afghan Taliban remain inflexible. It comes from angry, lonely men in Kabul. These men are bitter because they are not invited to the many peace parleys taking place in Abu Dhabi, Doha, Islamabad, and Moscow.

Many of these men had their chance to rule Afghanistan and make it better. Seventeen years in total. They messed up the country, indulged in epic corruption, empowered warlords known for kidnapping and raping children, took money bags from countries in the region (like India and Iran), and failed to unite the Afghan nation.

The United States footed the bill for the failure of these angry men in Kabul. America has been generous for too long.

Taliban to meet Afghan opposition leaders in Moscow

Now when Washington has decided to intervene and do something that these angry men failed to do — unite Afghans and make peace — the angry men decide to scuttle it.

The tweet by President Ashraf Ghani is so uncharacteristic of him, it almost seems he tweeted it at gunpoint, held to his head by those who ruled and failed in Kabul for almost two decades (and became rich in the process). Ghani expressed “serious concerns” on an internal Pakistani matter, referring to two Pakistani provinces, “Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan”, without referring to Pakistani sovereignty. This was an indirect reference to the Afghan role since the 1950s in organizing separatist movements in the two Pakistani regions, with help from the Soviet Union and India.

The tweet was designed to provoke Pakistani ire and create a major diplomatic crisis. But the main target was not Pakistan. It was President Trump. And some of these angry Afghan politicians are not alone in trying to derail Washington’s effort to end the war and secure the peace in Afghanistan. Some of these bitter Afghan…

Ahmed Quraishi

Journalist with an eye for stories hiding in the grey area between national security, changing societies, and human rights in the MENA region.