Ghani tells of Soviet withdrawal that led to devastating civil war

President Ashraf Ghani said Sunday that the Soviet Union troop withdrawal from Afghanistan had been “irresponsible” and without proper planning the country slid into a devastating civil war.

In a video message marking the 32nd anniversary of the withdrawal of the Soviet Union’s troops from Afghanistan, Ghani stated that no measures had been put in place after the Soviet Union withdrew.

The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan on December 24, 1979, which prompted the international community’s condemnation and triggered a nine-year holy war (Jihad) against the Soviet troops.

According to reports, thousands of Soviet troops and more than 1.5 million Afghans were killed and millions of people forcefully displaced or migrated to neighboring countries in this time.

In 1989, the last Soviet soldier left Afghanistan. However, civil war broke out until the Taliban seized power in the late 1990s.

On Sunday, Ghani said the lack of a plan on the Soviet part after their withdrawal led to civil war.

“The withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan at that time was not responsible, so Afghanistan entered a civil war and all institutions and infrastructure disintegrated.”

Ghani said: “The purpose of the jihad of our people was that after the withdrawal of the Soviet forces in Afghanistan, a system would emerge at the will of the people and to protect them.”

“But because the withdrawal of Soviet troops was not responsible and no measures were taken for the future of the country, Afghanistan was plunged into a multi-dimensional civil war that resulted in the security forces, national institutions, and infrastructure of Afghanistan falling apart,” Ghani added.

“The opportunity for an end to war and [the start of] peace in the country has now been created and we will achieve peace, we will achieve lasting peace,” he said.