Russian Medical Association writes to Taliban, USA and Afghan President, appeals for peace

A statement issued by Dr. Ashok G. Sarkisian, President of the Russian Medical Association, says that war in Afghanistan is the largest in the modern history and longest international conflict in the American history.

Sarkisian is a professor of Surgery and Chairman of the independent International Committee of Humanitarian Cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

Sarkisian believes that there is “no military solution to the Afghanistan problem and it needs a serious and comprehensive discussion of involving the broad international community.”

In his letter to Dr. Ashraf Ghani, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada, Supreme Leader of the Taliban and General James N. Mattis, United States Secretary of Defense, he mentions that the whole war cost almost 1 trillion dollars and in the coming years, additional gigantic resources will be required to maintain the American forces in Afghanistan, provide healthcare, rehabilitation, pensions and disability allowances to the veterans.

The letter further mentions that according to the Human Development Index, Afghanistan takes the 171 place out of 188 states.

World Health Organization (WHO) mentions that over 60% of Afghanistan population suffers from mental disorder and UN Children’s Fund (UNICFF), describes Afghanistan the worst place to be born on Earth.

The letter also mentions, “16 years after the launch of Operation Enduring Freedom, it is now absolutely evident that the goals of the mission have not been achieved – today, Afghanistan is missing its own development strategy; the attempt to create a stable state government system failed; Afghan law-enforcement agencies are not able to ensure security in the country; corruption undermines the legitimacy of the Afghan Government; a large share of the population is involved in production and distribution of narcotic substances – Afghanistan produces 90% of the world’s opium, gradually turning into the biggest drug consumer. A part of the Afghan population has been killed in combat actions, and the other part fall victim to drugs.”

Regardless of the effort and actions of numerous governments, the situation, Sarkisian says, keeps deteriorating, turning Afghanistan into the “chaos zone” and a source of increased terrorist danger and drug threat for the entire world. Additionally, the destructed healthcare and uncontrolled refugee flow due to increased civil unrest may lead to distribution of extremely dangerous infectious diseases.

“Therefore, the ‘Splendid Little War’ initiated by President Bush, turned into the longest and dragged-out positional warfare with no victory for the U.S. and NATO, and all the countries participating in the Afghan war are already tired,” the letter reads.

According to Dr. Ashok on May 21, 2016, at X (XXVI) Pirogov’s Medical Congress in Moscow, at the higher professional doctors’ forum in Russia, the representatives of the civil society and of Russia and Central Asia established an independent International Committee of Humanitarian Cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. This Committee appealed to the international community – doctors, educators, scientists, cultural workers, artists, as well as social, political and religious organizations of diverse confessions, as well as NATO representatives with a proposal to hold an International Humanitarian Conference to discuss humanitarian issues and possibilities to ensure peace in Afghanistan.

“As before, the US-led Western Coalition continues cooperating with the central government in Kabul only, ignoring meaningful cooperation with the people of Afghanistan, this surely makes the military mission impossible. Perhaps, this can be explained by the lack of knowledge of the history of the country, its religious and cultural traditions, lack of understanding of the current reality of Afghanistan with its ethnic and tribal fragmentation.”

Sarkisian says that the people of Afghanistan, tired of the endless war, having discarded ethnic and tribal differences, will support the joint actions and the beginning of active negotiation process. Sarkisian ends his letter with, “all wars must end with peace.”

Sarkisian is also a former member of the Russian Medical Parliament.

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