LONDON: The son of famous Afghan leader Ahmed Shah Massoud has said that Afghanistan needs to have an honest and strategic partnership with Pakistan to move forward.
In an interview with the Atlantic Council's Senior Fellow Kamal Alam, Ahmad Massoud spoke about the growing mistrust between Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the diplomatic relations at an all-time low, including global Afghan protests against Pakistan embassies.
Ahmad believes that a reset is realistic and was also the dream of his father to have an honest and brotherly relationship with Pakistan.
“However, like my father, I would never accept any foreign power or pressure to dictate terms.”
Ahmad also said it was his father's dream to have a strong relationship with Pakistan based on mutual respect. He clarified that while serious issues from the past remained, the present and future could be different and, indeed, historic. He said a strategic vision is needed and both countries must work with each other to help attain political stability and security in each country.
During the 40 minute-long interaction, Ahmad said that President Ashraf Ghani has failed to provide security and political leadership to the Afghan nation and his failure was obvious at all fronts.
The Afghan leader also said he is willing to negotiate with the Taliban provided they don't enforce their views and use the barrel of the gun.
He said that he believed in a regional solution that ensured stability and cooperation of all.
Atlantic Council Senior Fellow Kamal Alam who is also a Senior Adviser to the Massoud Foundation also noted how Ahmed's late father Ahmad Shah Massoud helped end the civil war in Tajikistan and how it showed that Afghanistan could be a force of stability for Central Asia and Pakistan.
While speaking to The News from Panjshir, Kamal Alam said: "Panjshir is the key to north and Central Asia. Ahmad's father defeated seven Soviet offensives and also didn't allow the Taliban to enter the northeast despite overwhelming Taliban firepower. Just like the father, Ahmad is the key now."
He continued, "All the local military commanders from the neighbouring provinces of Takhar, Badakshan and Nuristan are coming to him for advice and leadership."
He said that even though Ahmad is young, he is untainted, unlike many other leaders who have fled to Kabul or abroad.
Ahmad remains in touch with his people and is critical of Ghani for alleged corruption and abandoning the North with next to no resources to fight the Taliban and other groups.
He is ready to talk to the Taliban if they negotiate, however, will not allow them a military result and will be ready.
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