Peace mission hurts: NATO will leave Afghanistan with ‘wounds’
On Wednesday, a deadly NATO strike reportedly killed 18 people, some of them women and children. RT spoke to Ahmed Quraishi, the president of the PakNationalists Forum, who says the US military and NATO are inciting chaos in the region.
RT:It's only a week since a UN report said the number of civilian deaths in Afghanistan by NATO is too high – and now another deadly air strike. What impact is this going to have?
Ahmed Quraishi: I would not take into account the denial of NATO. The Afghan government does not have a reason to lie, and of course they have the reputation to protect their own people, they are answerable to their people. So I would go with what the Afghan government is saying, and they are saying that civilians have been killed today.
Without exaggeration it would be safe to say that the vast majority of the Afghan people have really rebelled against the foreign occupation of their country… In everything you hear frankly winning the hearts and minds is a really ancient history. The Americans have absolutely lost it as far as Afghan peoples' hearts and minds are concerned.
RT:The mission was to protect the wider Afghan population, wasn’t it? In another event, 22 civilians were killed in twin terrorist bombings earlier in the day as well – this protection of the Afghan people is not going too well, is it?
AQ: The Afghan people have lost more of their civilians Afghanistan in the first decade of the 21st century people than the US lost on 9/11. It was a tragic event on 9/11, but this is no lesser tragedy. And we don’t see any justice in this – that the Afghan people could lose this many and of course NATO and the US military in Afghanistan are very quick to condemn the Taliban for their bombings in various cities when civilians are killed. But how is the US military and NATO any different? They kill as many civilians there.
Any future government in Afghanistan, after the Americans are out, in order to reclaim credibility, they will have to initiate some reconciliation process where they would have to move some legal cases, maybe go as far as the UN or the International Court of Justice and ask for compensation for what happened.
Afghanistan will be left with wounds that would take decades to heal. Thousands and thousands of civilians have been killed. Who will look after the orphans, who will look after the psychological and the other social problems resulting from these endless deaths of civilians. And there is no accountability whatsoever on the US military and the NATO.
RT:Let`s talk about Pakistan a little bit. Pakistan's formally complained about the U.S. drone strikes there on Tuesday, saying the alliance acts "against international law." Sounds markedly similar to what Western leaders accuse Syria's president of doing. Are there some double standards here?
AQ: No one has undermined the international system in the 21st century more than NATO and the United States, and this is very dangerous. If we go back a hundred years ago, the early years of the 20th century, the very reason the world went on to extreme armament and weaponization and of course endless wars is because of the mistakes committed by Western powers. And we are very concerned to see these very same Western powers messing up and planting chaos in our region, and we will pay the price for what these people are doing here. The major powers in this region – Russia, China, Pakistan and others – should really step in and try to contain some of the mess the Western powers are leaving behind.