False - January 10, 2021

Letter from Khalilzad to Ghani proved unauthentic

KABUL (Pajhwok): The Afghan government and US Embassy in Kabul have rejected a letter from US Special Representative for Afghanistan Peace Process ZalmayKhalilzad to President Ashraf Ghani circulating on social media platforms Facebook and Twitter for the past couple of days.

The letter reads: “We [The US] are compelled to remove you either by force or on your own will from the power for the sake of peace process.”

Claim: Ghani threatened to be sacked for peace in a letter from Khalilzad

Verdict: Incorrect

Explainer: Misinformation is spread through the letter since the US Embassy in Kabul and Afghan government denied its authenticity.

The false and true nature of the letter could not be proven due to the lack of evidence

A letter attributed to Khalilzad has been circulating in twitter and facebook for the past couple of days in which Khalilzad has explained his recent trip to Afghanistan and threatened President Ghani to be sacked or he himself shall quit power for the sake of peace process.

The letter is shared by North Press and Zwandon TV in Facebook. “Your Excellency the president! Now I want to come to the main point, we are compelled to remove you from the power either by force or by your own will for the sake of Afghan peace process. Now you are kindly requested to do honorably what we want,” reads a part of the letter that surprised social media users.

The letter also says that the ongoing talks in Doha shall be led and owned by Afghans but the international community’s guarantee is also vital to end the 40 years’ war in Afghanistan and ensure durable settlement.

The letter associated to Khalilzad is circulating in social media after reports that President Ashraf Ghani refused to meet with the US Chief Negotiator during his recent trip to Kabul. The Government Media Information Centre (GMIC) rejected Khalilzad had sent this letter to President Ashraf Ghani and termed it baseless.

The U.S. Embassy in Kabul in a statement denied the authenticity of the letter being quoted in recent press reports allegedly sent by Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad to the President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani.

Analysis: Political Affairs Expert Wadir Safi linked the letter to exaggeration in the optimism of opponents. “Khalilzad is not low level diplomat which the president would not want to meet and in return he dispatched this type of letter,” he believed.

Some individuals want to exploit President Ashraf Ghani’s emotions related to the peace process by circulating this type of letter, he added.

Outcome: The GMIC rejected the letter sent to President Ghani from Khalilzad and political experts also termed it as fake but the US Embassy in Kabul avoided to comment on the origin of the letter at a time when according to reports Ghani had refused to meet with Khalilzad during the latter’s recent trip to Kabul.

Still the letter cannot be described as fake or original because there is no clear evidence available to support the true or false nature of the claim and the US Embassy in Kabul also declined to comment.

Verdict: Letter from Khalilzad to President Ghani proved unauthentic, thus it is an incorrect letter


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