Dawn, October 5, 2007


US Congressional Panel was Warned: "Afghanistan May be Lost Forever"

Republican congressman D. Rohrabacher also blamed the Clinton administration, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia for creating the Taliban.

WASHINGTON: A US congressional panel was warned on Thursday that the Bush administration's Afghan policy had totally failed and Afghanistan was on its way to be lost forever.

At a panel hearing of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Republican congressman D. Rohrabacher also blamed the Clinton administration, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia for creating the Taliban. "Let me repeat that: The Clinton administration, along with Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, created the Taliban," he said. "And during the 1990s, the Clinton administration stuck with that deal and tried -- and undermined every effort for those of us who were opposed to the Taliban."

Republican congressman D. Rohrabacher to a US congressional panel: "Let me repeat that: The Clinton administration, along with Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, created the Taliban."
Dawn, Oct.5, 2007

Mr Rohrabacher also blamed the ISI and other Pakistani officials for engaging in the drug trade and claimed: "The ISI has been up to their necks in the drug trade for 20 or 30 years now."

The panel's witness, Thomas Schweich, State Department's coordinator for counter-narcotics, however, said that while some officials in every country neighbouring Afghanistan are involved, "but I have not heard that Pakistan, in terms of any governmental sense, has interfered with our ability" to fight drug trafficking.

It was, however, the panel's chairman, Congressman David Ackerman, a New York Democrat, who set the tone for Thursday's hearing. Painting a very bleak picture of the situation in Afghanistan, he noted: "There is no security in much of the country. The central government's grip does not extend much beyond the environs of Kabul. In the provinces, there is no functioning local government, and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime projects that 2007 will be another record year for opium production in Afghanistan."

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