Ashraf Ghani Quotes

In his own words: Collection of quotes from President Ashraf Ghani

“We don’t have warlords. We have strongmen. They control provinces with military forces. These men at one time controlled territory; they have now been transformed into businessmen and politicians. Today our national security forces are built to control [the provinces].”

Interview with Sally Armstrong for Maclean’s / March 5, 2014

“President Karzai was an accidental president. There was no paradigm for the conditions he faced, because no one could have imagined 9/11. He had to improvise under very difficult conditions to hold this country together. We now have a platform for change and the country is ready for transformation.”

Interview with Sally Armstrong for Maclean’s / March 5, 2014

“The Taliban need to choose not to be al Qaeda, and be Afghan.”

Reuters report, March 25, 2015 – New Afghan president warns of ‘terrible threat’ from Islamic State

“Afghanistan is an extremely poor country awash with money.”

Twitter, posted by Ashraf Ghani on March 26, 2015.

“I ate corned beef at Katz’s, New York’s greatest, greasiest, pickle-lined melting pot.”

Source: Associated Press Report, March 25, 2015 – Afghan president, appearing before Congress, says his country owes ‘profound debt’ to the US. 

Note: It was part of a speech delivered to the US Congress.

“We can no longer tolerate Illegal armed groups threatening the security and stability of Afghanistan.”

“Having a professional and well trained army is the only way to guarantee our existence.”

Twitter, posted by Ashraf Ghani on April 18, 2015.

“AFG & India are two countries that are bound by a thousand ties & millions of memories. We are the only countries that need no introduction.”

Twitter, posted by Ashraf Ghani on April 25, 2015.

“This is part of our shame. We have inherited situations that are shameful, that are absolutely despicable.”

Ashraf Ghani made the statement during an interview with Deutsche Welle (DW) on December 3, 2015, after the interviewer confronted him with a photograph published by Human Rights Watch showing a 22-year-old Afghan woman who was sentenced to 100 lashes after being accused of sex outside marriage.

“We don’t have militias.”

“The privileged elites are part of the globalization moment that we live in. What is significant is to create opportunities for the generations to come. If the families of the privileged live abroad they are not going to have careers abroad. Their careers are back in Afghanistan. (…) If they live abroad they become dishwashers. They don’t become part of the middle class.”

Interview with Deutsche Welle (DW) on December 3, 2015.

SPIEGELYou have stated in the past that you wanted to do everything differently from your predecessor Karzai, that you wanted to fight corruption and adhere to the standards of good governance. But then you made Abdul Rashid Dostum your vice president, even though he is considered by many to be a war criminal. You also appointed a former finance minister suspected of corruption as an advisor.

Ghani: I want to highlight the fact that Dostum issued a letter of apology to the victims and the people for his possible role in the conflict before joining my ticket in the election. Besides, did Germany prosecute its Nazis after World War II? No, you hired them. You should take a look at your own history before pointing the finger. What do you expect of a country that is still in conflict? I have to hold our country together, and the imperatives of what we are sacrificing in order to create hope and stability need to be viewed in this context.

Interview with Susanne Koelbl of SPIEGEL / December 2, 2015.

“If al-Qaida was version 2.0 of terror, then the Islamic State is version 5.0.”

Interview with Susanne Koelbl of SPIEGEL / December 2, 2015.

“Met with the family of Shaheed Daud Khan. Proudly donating $20K from my own account to construction of his monument.”

Twitter, posted by Ashraf Ghani on February 28, 2016.

“We don’t expect Pakistan to bring us peace. We want Pakistan to banish those groups from its territory that fight against Afghanistan.”

Twitter, posted by Ashraf Ghani on July 11, 2016.

“The war in Afghanistan is not a civil war. It’s a drug war, it’s a terrorist war and it’s also a state to state undeclared war.”

Twitter, posted by Ashraf Ghani on February 19, 2017.

“Terrorists can shed our blood, but they cannot break our will.”

Twitter, posted by Ashraf Ghani on June 6, 2017.

“Reform is not an option, it is an imperative. Meaningful reform cannot be driven by one person, or one office. It must be nationally owned.”

“Our state building efforts are directed at building a democratic state whose authority would be derived from the rule of law.”

Twitter, posted by Ashraf Ghani on July 9, 2017.

“The ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya is especially shocking. Aung San Suu Kyi’s lengthy silence was tragic,”

Twitter, posted by Ashraf Ghani on September 19, 2017.

“This is the worst job on Earth”

Ashraf Ghani was referring to the job of being the president of Afghanistan in an interview with the BBC’s Justin Rowlatt on October 5, 2015.

“I have no sympathy”

Ashraf Ghani’s response to BBC’s Yalda Hakim’s question in an interview on March 31, 2016 regarding thousands Afghan citizens who were fleeing the country to make the dangerous journey to Europe.

“Those who have made such claims should prove it and those who are unable to prove it must go home and wear a chaadar (head scarf).”

Ashraf Ghani made the comment during a speech in December 2017, addressing critics who had accused his government officials of having ties with ISIS. Many people, especially women, were offended. They viewed his comment as being sexist and anti-women. In Afghanistan, “wear a chaadar” is used to when one wants to insult or degrade a man. Ghani later apologized and said his comment had been misinterpreted.

“Taliban must choose between Islam and terrorism, between humanity and barbarism, between Afghaniat and stogies.”

“Islam is for all Muslims. Those who distinguish between Muslims, in their Fatwas, by arbitrary lines for their political gains and legitimize the massacre of Muslims are war criminals and must be sanctioned.”

“Afghan political elite must rise above petty politics and unite to serve our people and defend our nation and country against state-sponsored, regional, and international terrorism.”

Twitter, posted by Ashraf Ghani on January 29, 2018.

“I fully support the historical #PashtunLongMarch in Pakistan. The main purpose of which is to mobilize citizens against fundamentalism and terrorism in the region.”

Twitter, posted by Ashraf Ghani on February 9, 2018.

“I must repeat that it was our unity, resilience and our perseverance that steered us to victory against the red army and what followed after.”

Twitter, posted by Ashraf Ghani on February 14, 2018.

“The worst part of my job is early morning, I get my first security briefing and I get the casualty figures. It is not just that my heart breaks for our security forces who are true heroes but also for Taliban; they are Afghans and I am the president of all Afghanistan”.

Ashraf Ghani in an interview with VICE News / September 13, 2018.

“Zindabad Ice Cream (Long Live Ice Cream)”

Source: From a speech on the peace talks with the Taliban, delivered in August 2018.  Ghani was implying that peace is being made with the Taliban using ice cream.