- The Washington Times - Friday, October 16, 2009

BLAMING PAKISTAN

Afghan Ambassador Said Jawad this week stepped up his allegations against Pakistan over the bombing of the Indian Embassy in the Afghan capital of Kabul.

Mr. Jawad said the explosion on Oct. 8, which killed 17 people, was obviously directed at India, Pakistan’s old South Asian rival, and not Afghanistan, which, he said, indicated that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency was involved in the car bomb.

“Look,” he said in an interview with the Voice of America (VOA), “if the target was not India, why didn’t they actually park the car on the other side of the street, which is our Ministry of the Interior?

“So there is the evidence on the ground, and the history of such attacks points directly to the involvement of Pakistan intelligence services in this kind of attack.”

Last week, Mr. Jawad told reporters that his government was “pointing fingers” at Pakistan in a more obtuse criticism of Afghanistan’s eastern neighbor.

Pakistani Ambassador Husain Haqqani complained that Afghanistan was blaming his country instead of trying to work together “to eliminate the common threat of terrorism.”

In the VOA interview, Mr. Jawad also called for more foreign troops to help fight Taliban terrorists while his country is building its own military and police force. President Obama is currently reviewing U.S. strategy in Afghanistan.

“We need space and room to train additional Afghan forces, and the current strength and composition of the Afghan and international forces are not adequate to confront the existing challenges,” Mr. Jawad said.

“We do need additional troops, certainly. Afghans would like to see the enemy defeated, which is terrorism and extremism. They don’t want to see the friends of Afghanistan being doubtful about their mission and resolution.”

Meanwhile in Paris, Russia’s envoy to NATO predicted that the Western military alliance will be defeated in Afghanistan.

Dmitry Rogozin, at an international conference in the French capital, warned of NATO’s “looming capitulation in Afghanistan.”

INTOLERANT EUROPE

Most European countries refuse to admit that they are doing little to stop rising acts of racial and ethnic intolerance, leaders of a key congressional human rights panel charged this week.

“There is almost a denial that these problems persist in the OSCE countries,” said Rep. Alcee L. Hastings, Florida Democrat and co-chairman of the congressional Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe.

He called on the 56 nations of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe - which includes Europe, some Central Asian nations and the United States - to “shine the light on the xenophobia, anti-Semitism and other forms of discrimination that continue to feed off one another.”

Mr. Hastings, speaking at a commission hearing in Washington, added, “We are making some progress, but in comparison to the problem, the progress is slow.”

Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin, Maryland Democrat and the commission chairman, complained about an increase in intolerance throughout Europe as well as in the United States.

“We have witnessed a resurgence of various forms of intolerance and discrimination … and it is up to all of us to stand up against it,” he said.

“There is a renewed urgency to the work … as we face a global economic downturn that wrongheaded hate groups have already used and will continue to use to scapegoat individuals based on their race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or immigrant status.”

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail jmorrison@washington times.com.

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