In an interview with The PUNCH on Tuesday, MURIC Director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, accused America of fleeing the country after deceiving Afghans for 20 years.
He said, “America deceived Afghans by using them to dig in in Afghanistan. After invading Afghanistan, America remained there for 20 years with the support of some locals. Now, what have they (Afghans) gained from it?
“America has no problem, it is its national interest as far as America is concerned.”
When asked whether he was in support of the takeover of the Taliban in Afghanistan, Akintola said, “Yes, I am in support. And I will explain. The Taliban are Afghanistans; it is their country, it is not America’s. Just as Nigerians have the right to be in their own country. They were driven to the countryside by American invading forces.
“Now, American forces have fled, that is the way to put it because that is exactly what they did. Biden just said America did not come into Afghanistan for nation-building; it is quite insulting and irritating. You fool a whole country for 20 years?
“While we support the return of the Taliban, we will not support extremism and terrorism in any form.
“When I talk about extremism, I am talking about the rights of women. The Taliban often infringe on the rights of women like denying them the right to education but Islam encourages education and the daughter of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) was a foremost educationist. She related the hadiths of the prophet after his passing. So, if women should not be educated, Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) would not have educated his own daughter.
“The fact that the Taliban discouraged women’s education was a minus for them but I believe they have learnt their lessons because their spokesman yesterday was talking about allowing women to go to school, allowing women to work because Islam encourages education and Islam does not condone idleness and they have the right to work and own properties.”
Ousted Afghan President Ashraf Ghani
‘Ghani was corrupt, had no business remaining in power’
The don also said the ousted civilian president of Afghanistan was corrupt and had no business in government.
“Ghani was corrupt. Ghani and his cabinet were exploiting the Afghanis and America knew that the government was corrupt, yet it was supporting a corrupt government because it was not its skin that was being removed, it looked the other way.
“Ghani had no right remaining president particularly with the allegations of corruption levelled against him.
“What is left is for the Taliban to form a moderate government, an inclusive government that will not marginalise any section of the Afghanistan community. The Taliban must pursue moderation and eschew all acts of terrorism,” Akintola said.
When our correspondent asked him whether it was possible for the Taliban to pursue moderation and eschew extremism considering the fact that the militant group has been alleged to sponsor terrorism in some parts of the world including Africa, Akintola retorted, “I see your comments to be speaking from an impression, a past perspective that you hold about them. We are talking about a new Taliban, the future is what we should be looking at. We should give them a chance, in any case, we don’t have a chance; they’ve taken over. So, smearing their image and holding on to the propaganda of the West is not the best.” (Punch)