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Embassy Row: Terrorist defamed?

- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 20, 2012

One of the world's most-wanted terrorist leaders is suing two Pakistani journalists for reporting that he met with the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan.

Hafiz Mohammad Saeed claims the reporters damaged his reputation as a fierce Islamist enemy of the United States.

His attorney, A.K. Dogar, insisted that Saeed never met with Ambassador Cameron Munter and said his client sees the United States as the "murderer of millions of Muslims and an enemy of Pakistan."

The U.S. Embassy in Pakistan also denied that any such meeting took place.

Nazir Naji, a columnist for the Pakistani daily newspaper, Jang, and Amir Mir, a reporter for The News, wrote that Saeed met with Mr. Munter last month, after the United States on April 3 announced a $10 million reward for the arrest of the founder of the Pakistani-based terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET).

Mr. Naji, who broke the story, wrote that "some extremist elements" arranged the meeting and that Saeed left "satisfied" with whatever Mr. Munter reportedly told him.

LET is blamed for several attacks against India, including a three-day assault on Mumbai in November 2008 that killed 166 and wounded more than 300. The group is also on terrorist lists in Australia, Britain, the European Union, India and Russia.

'SIMPLY BAFFLING'

A conservative German politician and a liberal American diplomat became lifelong friends in the early 1990s, when he attended Georgetown University where she taught courses in international affairs.

Alexander Graf Lambsdorff returned to Georgetown last week as a graduation speaker and told the story of first meeting the formidable Madeleine K. Albright, who would later serve as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and as the first female secretary of state.

Mr. Lambsdorff took her course in U.S.-Soviet relations and found the Czech-born, naturalized American to be an "inspiring, hands-on teacher and a really nice person, too."

He recalled that Mrs. Albright would invite her students to her West Virginia farm for barbecue cookouts or her Georgetown home for lasagna.

Mr. Lambsdorff, however, found another invitation "simply baffling."

Mrs. Albright had several of her students to her home for a discussion on sexual harassment.

"It was a delicate matter to be sure, but Professor Albright simply declared in class that, while no one was admitting it, everyone was concerned about the issue ...," he said.

"To me, that was simply baffling. Professors wouldn't invite students to their homes just like that where I come from and certainly not to discuss something like that."

Mr. Lambsdorff, now a member of the European Parliament from the center-right German Free Democratic Party, graduated from Georgetown in 1993. In his commencement address, he told students that when he entered in 1990, the Soviet Union still existed and communism "still held down" countries in Eastern Europe.

When this year's graduating class entered Georgetown, "Osama bin Laden was still a threat to ... freedom-loving people everywhere," he said.

DIPLOMATIC TRAFFIC

Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:

Monday

• Tamara Martsenyuk of Ukraine's National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, who discusses Ukrainian women's issues in a forum at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

• Fawaz Georges of the London School of Economics. He discusses President Obama's Middle East policies in a briefing at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

• Carlos Alzugaray, a former Cuban ambassador to the European Union and now a professor at the University of Havana, and Jorge Mario Sanchez of the University of Havana's Center for the Study of the Cuban Economy. They participate in a Brookings Institution discussion on U.S.-Cuban relations.

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297 or email jmorrison@washingtontimes.com. The column is published on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

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