America’s Fight for Democracy Was a ‘Pretense’: Afghanistan’s Last Finance Minister

  • Khalid Payenda, Afghanistan’s final finance minister, referred to as America’s struggle for democracy in his nation a “pretense.”
  • Payenda instructed The Washington Put up that he blames People, his fellow Afghans, and himself for his nation’s fall.
  • Payenda drives for Uber in Washington, DC, and teaches at Georgetown College to help his household.

Afghanistan’s final finance minister, who now drives for Uber in Washington, DC, mentioned America’s struggle for democracy in his former nation was a “pretense.” 

Khalid Payenda instructed The Washington Put up he has been haunted by the autumn of Afghanistan to the Taliban. Amongst these he blames are the People who touted their mission as upholding democracy and human rights within the area.

“Perhaps there have been good intentions initially, however the US most likely did not imply this,” Payenda mentioned.

America withdrew from Afghanistan in August of 2021 after 20 years of conflict.

A number of months earlier than the Taliban swiftly seized management over Afghanistan, former President Donald Trump’s administration signed a conditional peace deal with the militant group in February 2020, promising to drag out US troops over the course of 14 months. The deal notably didn’t embrace the Afghan authorities. 

The unique date for the complete withdrawal of US forces in Afghanistan was September 11, the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 assaults. In the meantime, in July, President Joe Biden had been rejecting the prospect of Taliban takeover. The forthcoming collapse of Afghan safety forces and fast advance by the Taliban took officers unexpectedly. 

The messy withdrawal from Afghanistan proved to be a low level for Biden. A terrorist assault close to the Kabul airport had killed at the very least 169 Afghans and 13 US service members, marking the deadliest day for US army members within the nation since 2011. Days later, a US drone strike supposed to forestall one other ISIS-Okay assault mistakenly focused an support employee — killing 10 civilians, together with seven kids.

Biden defended the choice to remain the course and withdraw troops by the September deadline, blaming the Taliban’s success on Afghanistan political leaders who he mentioned “gave up and fled the nation.” He later selected to launch solely half of Afghanistan’s $7 billion reserve funds held within the US to the nation for humanitarian support, because the nation started to spiral into immense poverty and Afghans have taken determined measures to remain alive.  The transfer triggered backlash from critics who mentioned the sum of the cash belongs to the folks of Afghanistan. 

“We gave them each likelihood to find out their very own future. What we could not present them was the desire to struggle for that future,” Biden mentioned in an deal with to the nation on August 16 final yr. 

Payenda instructed the Put up he blames Afghans as effectively, but in addition People for giving up on the values that had been imagined to be the very cause for his or her struggle. 

“We did not have the collective will to reform, to be severe,” mentioned Payenda, who grew to become the deputy finance minister in 2016 earlier than leaving authorities in 2019.

Payenda additionally mentioned he blames himself, telling the Put up that he wished he by no means accepted the place as finance minister close to the tip of 2020. 

“I noticed plenty of ugliness and we failed. I used to be a part of the failure,” Payenda mentioned. “It is tough while you take a look at the distress of the folks and you’re feeling accountable.”

Payenda works as an adjunct professor at Georgetown College, which pays a mere $2,000 per semester, however he instructed the Put up he does not do it for the cash. Slightly, Payenda mentioned, he desires to show college students who may sometime be authorities officers to see the battle from the standpoint of those that want US support and intervention.

Payenda instructed the Put up he is “extremely grateful” for his gig with Uber, which he mentioned helps his spouse and 4 kids. 

“It means I haven’t got to be determined,” he mentioned. 

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