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Afghan ambassador doesn’t believe Biden cares about the fate of women left in country

Adela Raz, Afghanistan’s ambassador to the U.S., said in an interview that she does not believe President Biden cares about the fate of Afghan women left behind to live under Taliban rule and said she feels a level of guilt for persuading women to believe there was a future in the country.

She told “Axios on HBO” that one of the women she influenced—a human rights advocate– has since been assassinated. 

Axios said the Monday interview with Raz took place in her embassy‘s office in Washington, where she still flies the former Afghanistan flag. The interview was prior to the appearance of top U.S. military officials in front of the Senate and House Armed Services Committees, where Gen. Mark Milley, the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called the war a “strategic failure.”

“The Taliban was and remain a terrorist organization and they still have not broken ties with al Qaeda,” he said. “I have no illusions who we are dealing with.”

Raz was described in the Axios report as “effectively a refugee representing a leaderless government-in-exile.” The report said the Taliban reached out to her but she has refused to take the call and said she would never work as an envoy for the Taliban. 

She took particular issue with exiled President Ashraf Ghani fleeing the country as Taliban fighters routed his federal forces and closed in on the city. His retreat was shrouded in secrecy that gave rise to conspiracy theories that he left with a fortune—an allegation that he denied.

She told Axios that her husband noticed that the exiled president seemed to be having clandestine meetings with top aides as the Taliban closed in.

“I was very sarcastic,” she said. “I said, ‘Oh, probably they’re working on the evacuation plan.”

The Taliban has been in control of the country for over a month and seem to be finding out that it is more challenging to run a desperately poor country than overthrow one. Kabul may be plunged into darkness because the country has not continued its payments to its Central Asian electricity suppliers. 

“The consequences would be countrywide, but especially in Kabul,” Daud Noorzai, who resigned as chief executive of the country’s state power monopoly, Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat, told the Wall Street Journal. There will be blackout and it would bring Afghanistan back to the Dark Ages when it comes to power and to telecommunications. This would be a really dangerous situation.”

Edmund DeMarche is a senior news editor for Follow him on Twitter @EDeMarche.


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