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Iran ‘only country’ to have capacity to help Afghanistan: Ghani’s brother

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Heshmat Ghani (R), the brother of former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, is seen on Sahar Afghanistan TV’s Crimson Light program broadcast on December 6, 2021.

The brother of former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, who is also an expert in economic issues, says Iran is the only country that has the capacity to help Afghanistan after the two-decade-long war on the country.

Heshmat Ghani made the remark on Sahar Afghanistan TV’s Crimson Light program on Monday while commenting on the situation in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of US troops from and the Taliban’s takeover of the country.

Underlining the reluctance or inability of other countries to help Afghanistan after the US invasion, Ghani said, “The improvement of the situation in Afghanistan would not be possible without Iran’s assistance, and that the only country that could help in terms of its potential was Iran.”

The Afghan economic expert said, “Iran has the capacity, while Pakistan, China, and Russia do not and [maybe] not want to help Afghanistan.”

Expressing that fewer investors have been to Iran from Afghanistan in the last 40 years and workers have mostly immigrated to the neighboring country, Ghani said, “Therefore, Iran has the capacity for both investors and immigrants to contribute and benefit in economic issues.”

During the program, the brother of former Afghan president also accused the US of creating a system and then destroying it, saying Washington’s deal with the Taliban in Qatar’s Doha during former US President Donald Trump had made it crystal clear that the group would soon assume power in Afghanistan.

“After the Trump administration's settlement in Qatar, it was very clear that the Taliban would sooner or later come to power in Afghanistan, and that was very difficult for the Afghan society, which had experienced a different lifestyle for two decades,” Ghani said.

He added that the former Afghan president had to leave the country anyway as the government was to be handed over to the Taliban and every ethnic group could be part of that government or participated in it.

Pointing to the Taliban in Afghanistan, the former Afghan president's brother said, "I made it clear to the Taliban leaders that they should run the security organs but leave the rest to the experts."

Ghani said there is potential in Afghanistan and that senior Taliban leaders are aware of it, but some of the younger generation of Taliban believe there is no need to interact with the world.

The economic expert referred to the freezing of Afghanistan's assets by the United States and some European countries, saying these assets belong to the people of Afghanistan.

“With the release of the blocked funds, the Taliban-controlled government may be able to solve problems temporarily and in the short term, but they will be beset by trouble in the long term,” he underlined.

Ghani referred to the corruption in the previous government and said the foreign embassies had already imposed their agents on the government and that they had no control over them.

“The only thing that can unite and bring everyone together in Afghanistan is economic relations,” he said, concluding that he hopes for the Taliban government and its officials to get along with each other and accept advice so that they do not get engaged in civil war.

The Taliban, who had previously ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, took power again on August 15 as the US was in the middle of a chaotic troop withdrawal. The group announced the formation of a caretaker government on September 7. No country has yet recognized their rule. Since then, the Taliban have been struggling to contain a deepening economic crisis.

Most of the international forums stopped their aid and assistance to Afghanistan after the Taliban returned to power. Besides, the United States seized nearly $9.5 billion in assets belonging to the Afghan central bank. The Taliban have repeatedly called for the release of the assets, but Washington has rebuffed the call, saying the new government in Kabul must "earn" international legitimacy first.

The United Nations says Afghanistan is facing “one of the world's worst humanitarian disasters.”


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