War against Islam in Afghanistan partly of US’ own making: Gorbachev
Last Soviet leader urges British govt to pull out troops from Afghanistan.
London: In a wide-ranging interview, former Soviet Union president Mikhail Gorbachev has said that the war against Islam as a conflict is partly of the US` own making.
He also called on the British Government to withdraw troops from Afghanistan.
"It`s called the historical and political boomerang," The Independent quoted Gorbachev, as saying while referring to Washington’s secret funding of Islamic extremists during the 1980s, when the Americans were fighting Communism.
"[The Americans] were working in secret with those forces with whom they are now fighting. They should accept their part of the blame. Let them say so. I think God has some mechanism that he uses to punish those that make mistakes," he added.
Drawing on his experience of six years governing the USSR, from 1985 to 1991, when he helped end the Cold War and oversaw the collapse of communism, Gorbachev, who will celebrate his 80th birthday on Wednesday, condemned the Western occupation of Afghanistan.
"I am using this interview to appeal to the (British) Prime Minister to go in the right direction on Afghanistan. I am appealing to him to set that goal. And I am not saying that he should do it exactly the same way we did it."
Gorbachev pointed out that Britain advised against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, saying the Afghans are a special people who live by their own rules. Now, he said, Britain should heed its own advice.
Gorbachev also welcomed the uprising in Egypt, saying the people have spoken and made clear they do not want to live under authoritarian rule.