‘Kerry’s praise of Afghan govt security efforts is blatant propaganda’

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a joint conference with Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani in Kabul, Afghanistan, April 9, 2016 © Massoud Hossaini
John Kerry’s latest statements about Kabul’s successful attempts to ensure the country’s security are not reflective of the reality on the ground, Gareth Porter, investigative historian and journalist on US national security policy, has told RT.

At least two explosions hit the diplomatic quarter of Kabul on Saturday. The incident followed US Secretary of State John Kerry's visit to the Afghan capital.

Kerry met with top Afghan officials including President Ashraf Ghani, just after the US diplomat had praised Kabul's efforts to ensure its security.

“With our support, Afghanistan’s government of national unity has assumed responsibility for the security of its people. And I want to congratulate the armed forces of Afghanistan and thank them for the tremendous work that they have done and are doing every single day in order to provide security and protection to the people of Afghanistan,” he told a media conference.

Given the latest blasts in Kabul, these statements are not valid, according to Gareth Porter, investigative historian and journalist on US national security policy.

“This is transparently blatant propaganda, which everyone in the Afghan government, as well as in the US government, knows is a simply not reflective of the reality on the ground, particularly in the capital itself, where the Taliban clearly has a strong presence and is able to make that presence felt in very obvious ways,” he told RT.     

Commenting on whether there is a link between the latest blasts and Kerry's visit, Porter said it was pretty clear that the explosions were “a carefully-laid plan by the Taliban.”

“It is in line with a long history over the past several years of the Taliban being very adept at sending political messages about the inability of the government to provide security in and around the capital by using military force in very interesting ways, such as attacks in the center of the city, occupying buildings for a considerable period of hours. In this case – [it was] sending the rockets into part of the city, while the secretary of the state is in the capital,” he added. 

Prince Ali Seraj, a former Afghanistan presidential candidate, said that he finds it “very strange” that every visit by an American official to Afghanistan is followed by either bombardments or suicide bombings and rocket fire.

He recalled that the same happened in 2013, during former Secretary of State Chuck Hagel’s visit to the Afghan capital.

Back then, nine people were killed by a suicide bomber who blew himself up outside the Afghan Defense Ministry building. Taliban insurgents claimed responsibility for the attack. 

According to Ali Seraj, “the so-called Afghan Taliban, who are residing in luxury in Qatar, sent out the message [Saturday] that they are ready and willing to negotiate peace with the American government and not the Afghan government.”

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