Apr 4, 2015

Afghan President Plays Prank on April Fool's Day

April Fool’s Day is a great day for people who deliberately play jokes on one another, but in some countries like Afghanistan April Fool's Day does not exist. What instead these countries have are their leaders who play pranks on them and the world.

The latest prank from Afghanistan came on April 1, 2015 when President Ashraf Ghani announced that his government is ready with ALL its POWER (yes, that is correct, with all its power) to support Saudi Arabia in its fight against the Huthi rebels in Yemen.

"The Afghan government stands with all power by the brotherly government and people of Saudi Arabia in defending the sacred territory should there be any threat." Read the entire statement here.
It is quite amusing to hear the Afghan president announces his country's support for Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is a country that is largely responsible for exporting the extreme interpretation of Islam to other Muslim countries. Afghanistan is one of those countries. The Afghan people know all too well what Wahhabism has done to them. They have paid a heavy price to fight against it.

Despite this, Afghanistan now has a new president who seems to be ignorant of all these sacrifices. On the top of that he does not recognize the regional sectarian sensitivity of this issue. I believe he has made a major mistake in his foreign policy, because it appears he has not made a careful assessment of what the repercussions could be. Ashraf Ghani, should be anxious for he has to expect some resentment and anger from Iran. Iran hosts more than two million Afghan refugees, shares a boarder, and has strong historical, religious and linguistic ties with Afghanistan. On the other hand Saudi Arabia shares relatively little except for religion.

So, what compels Ashraf Ghani to stand by Saudi Arabia in its fight against the Huthi rebels with all its powers when Afghanistan's capital and other major cities are being rocked by suicide attacks on a daily basis and its security forces are not able to protect its citizens?

Since taking office in September of last year, Ashraf Ghani has frequently traveled to Riyadh to explore avenues for seeking the Saudi's cooperation with the peace negotiations with the Taliban in Afghanistan. The outcome of his efforts and travels to Saudi Arabia have had little affect on Afghanistan. Perhaps those travels will not be significant because the Saudi's have never played a positive role in Afghanistan's peace nor are the Saudi's really interested in the wellbeing of the Afghan people.

What entices the Afghan president to seek the Saudi's support in the peace negotiations with the Taliban is not the Saudi King's initiatives, but rather the sanctity of the oil rich country that hosts Mecca. Mecca has a sacred mosque that attracts hundreds of thousands of Afghans every year.

It is highly unlikely the Saudi will be a successful role player in the peace negotiations between the Afghanistan government and the Afghan Taliban. So, many Afghans look at Ashraf Ghani's statement of support for Saudi Arabia's attacks on the Huthi rebels in Yemen as amusing. It is being looked at like an April Fool's Day hoax/joke. Ashraf Ghani is famous for his stupid and ludicrous remarks among many Afghans. There are some similarities that could be drawn between he and his predecessor, Hamid Karzai.


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