Ex-IEA envoy says Doha office’s strength should have been maintained

A former senior diplomat for the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) has said that the IEA should have maintained its strong presence in Doha and that the foreign ministry should have been incorporated into that office.

In an interview with Ariana News, Abdul Salam Zaeef, who served as ambassador to Pakistan during the IEA’s previous rule of Afghanistan, said if the strong contingent of IEA members had been kept in the Doha office, they would have been able to easily engage with the international community.

He also said the foreign ministry would have been able to make strong and decisive decisions had they fallen under the Doha office.

“I think when the foreign minister was appointed and all the political authority was transferred to him, the political office (Doha) almost became paralyzed,” Zaeef said.

“There were very strong people [in the office] who engaged with the international community and made promises to them… it should have been kept strong,” he said.

On the IEA’s performance over the past seven months, Zaeef said that the IEA has so far been successful in maintaining security and people are also cooperating with the new authorities.

He said that the IEA’s move to form a commission to encourage Afghans living abroad was a good initiative. “But the problem is contacting them, that is not easy. It is not easy to find the major figures. It would be easy to contact them if more [tribal] elders were involved.”

Zaeef said that the efforts of the foreign ministry in engaging with the international community were important, but that the IEA should move toward international recognition based on a strategy.