NEW DELHI: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s decision to appoint two staunch anti-Taliban veterans as the country’s defence and interior ministers Sunday vindicates India’s position that the Pakistan-backed rabid Sunni orthodox outfit is a major part of the problem in Afghanistan.
Both Amrullah Saleh, nominated as Minister of Interior and Assadullah Khalid, the new Minister of Defence, headed Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) in former president Hamid Karzai’s government.
Saleh also briefly served as state minister for security reforms last year.
The major shake-up in Afghanistan’s security leadership comes days after a meeting between the Taliban political leadership based in Doha and the American Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, met in Abu Dhabi, where the Taliban refused to meet an Afghan delegation in the city at the time.
“This refusal to meet the elected representatives of Afghanistan is clear indication that the Taliban have no interest in joining the democratic process, and are only serving as Pakistan’s lapdogs to ensure that the country remains destabilized,” said an official who has served in Afghanistan.