- The Washington Times - Monday, April 23, 2012

The Afghan government has barred a U.S. congressman who has criticized President Hamid Karzai from traveling to Afghanistan.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, California Republican, was scheduled to travel to Afghanistan on Friday as part of a congressional delegation.

Mr. Rohrabacher’s spokeswoman, Tara Setmayer, told The Washington Times that the lawmaker was informed that the military flight would not be able to depart for Afghanistan if he is on board.

“When Karzai found out Dana was a part of the [delegation], he told the State Department the entire [delegation] would be denied if Rohrabacher was included,” Ms. Setamayer said.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton relayed Mr. Karzai’s message to Mr. Rohrabacher and “personally petitioned Dana not to continue on with the delegation,” she said.

“Out of respect, he obliged and stayed behind in Dubai,” she added.

Mr. Rohrabacher had joined the congressional delegation at the last minute after another lawmaker dropped out.

The delegation, led by Rep. Louie Gohmert, Texas Republican, traveled to Afghanistan without Mr. Rohrabacher.