- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 27, 2003

Terror back in business
Indian Ambassador Lalit Mansingh denounced India's nuclear rival Pakistan in a recent speech for failing to stop terrorists from creeping into Pakistan's remote western mountainous region bordering Afghanistan.
"In short, terrorism is back in business in Pakistan," Mr. Mansingh told the Woman's National Democratic Club.
Mr. Mansingh blamed Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf for allowing remnants of Afghanistan's brutal Taliban government and al Qaeda terrorists to find refuge in Pakistan's tribal areas.
Gen. Musharraf last year promised to prevent Pakistan from becoming a haven for terrorists and to end the cross-border infiltration of militants into Indian-controlled Kashmir.
"Musharraf has gone back on every single commitment he made last year," Mr. Mansingh said.
The ambassador noted that Pakistan had "nurtured the Taliban and fostered the growth of al Qaeda" in Afghanistan before the United States crushed the regime and scattered the terrorists' base.
"It comes as no surprise to us that Osama bin Laden and his gang of terrorists have found a welcome sanctuary in the rugged mountains of western Pakistan," Mr. Mansingh said.
"Two of the four provinces of Pakistan that adjoin Afghanistan are today led by governments that are openly supportive of bin Laden and al Qaeda."
On Iraq, Mr. Mansingh said India supports the goals of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441, which requires Saddam Hussein to disclose and dismantle his weapons of mass destruction.
"The issue of foremost concern to the people of the United States today is Iraq," he said.
"Naturally," he added, "it is our hope that the crisis can still be resolved peacefully and that whatever further action is contemplated against Iraq will be undertaken with the authority of the United Nations."
Mr. Mansingh said India is worried about the economic consequences of a war in Iraq.
"In calculating the costs of war, one must not ignore its potential impact on the stability and economy of the region and, indeed, on the well-being and security of the long-suffering Iraqi people," he said.
"India has special concerns arising from the presence of millions of our expatriates who live and work in the Gulf region, from threat to the security of oil supplies and [from the] volatility that could follow military action."

Maisto to OAS
John Maisto, former U.S. ambassador to Venezuela and now a Latin America specialist at the National Security Council, is expected to be nominated to serve as U.S. ambassador to the Organization of American States, an administration source said.
Mr. Maisto would replace Roger Noriega, who is awaiting Senate confirmation on his nomination to the post of assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs.
Mr. Maisto's pending nomination has upset conservatives who see him as soft on leftist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. As ambassador to Venezuela, Mr. Maisto privately assured members of Congress that Mr. Chavez should not be taken seriously.
"Now look at Venezuela," the administration source said, referring to the recent widespread protests against Mr. Chavez that crippled the country's vital oil industry.

New embassy in Kenya
The United States next week will dedicate a new embassy in Kenya, four and a half years after the old one was destroyed in a terrorist bombing claimed by Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network.
The embassy, which has operated out of temporary quarters, said yesterday that three top State Department officials will attend a flag-raising ceremony at the new diplomatic complex in Gigiri, a suburb of the capital, Nairobi.
Grant S. Green Jr., undersecretary for management, will preside over the ceremony. He will be accompanied by Charles E. Williams, director of overseas buildings operations, and Walter H. Kansteiner III, assistant secretary of state for African affairs.
The new diplomatic complex will include a memorial to the 12 Americans and 201 Kenyans killed in the Aug. 7, 1998, bombing at the old embassy in downtown Nairobi. The massive blast injured 5,000 others.
A bomb on the same day damaged the U.S. Embassy in Tanzania and killed 11 Tanzanians.


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