• 01 March, 2024
Geopolitics & National Security

Roya Rahmani, former Afghan Ambassador to USA – Interview

Thu, 09 Sep 2021   |  Reading Time: 2 minutes

A former Afghan envoy to Washington blames Kabul’s former government for the country’s Taliban takeover, accusing them of widespread corruption. That echoes sentiments from current and former U.S. officials for years. Roya Rahmani served as the country’s first female ambassador to the United States, leaving her post of three years in July.

In an interview in Washington D.C., she said that it was mismanagement by Afghanistan’s leaders that led to the Taliban to take over so quickly. “The US government has indicated that they were met by surprise. I, as an Afghan, was not surprised by the fact that the Taliban took over Afghanistan the way they did.” “It was the leadership that was corrupt. And they handed over basically the country to the Taliban and their actions led to that.”

In particular she expressed disappointment at Ashraf Ghani for abandoning the presidency. “That was the only thing that surprised me, in fact, that I had at least better expectation from him, and from him alone, not from his aides, because I could also see that the same way that he made all the other decisions, the same way that he outsourced the matter of the country just to his two aides or three aides, this would be the consequences.”

Ghani said on Wednesday he left because he wanted to avoid bloodshed. He denied allegations he stole millions of dollars on his way out. Rahmani also warned of massive geopolitical shifts coming for Washington and its allies. “I believe that the United States will be facing a new Pakistan with a different ability or leverage.” “The issue with the Indian Muslims, the relationship with China, with Turkey.”

“Recently, you heard, we all heard this statement by one of the Taliban spokesperson speaking about Kashmir. That was the first statement of its kind.” The Taliban have vowed to be more tolerant compared to their last time ruling Afghanistan. However, Rahmani cautioned that dark times lay ahead for women there. She points to the Taliban’s decision on Tuesday to exclude women from all top government positions.

Women-led protests following that announcement were cut short after Taliban gunmen fired into the air to disperse the hundreds that rallied. “I salute all the brave women of Afghanistan. It is quite risky to do what they are doing and it’s also an indication to the rest of the world that they have everything to lose at this point.”

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