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1 16th June 17:42
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Default Muslim terrorism: PAKISTAN STILL SUPPORTING AL QAEDA, SAYS US EXPERT


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Pak still supporting Al-Qaeda: US expert

By P. Jayaram
Indo-Asian News Service
The Hindustan Times
Sunday, July 20, 2003

Indraprasth, July 19 - Elements of the Pakistan
government and the fundamentalist Islamic parties are
continuing their support for the Taliban and Al-Qaeda and
it is in Islamabad's own interest to stop this, according
to a US expert on Afghanistan.

"The Pakistan government has made some effort to control
them, but I think there is far more it can do," said Elie
D Krakowski, a senior fellow of the American Foreign
Policy Council, a think tank, and an authority on
Afghanistan, Central Asian security and low intensity
conflict and terrorism.

Krakowski, who is considered close to the Pentagon, is
here for informal consultations with Indian experts on
the unfolding developments in Afghanistan and the future
of the war-ravaged nation, organized by Monu Nalapat,
UNESCO Peace Chair, Manipal Academy of Higher Education.

It was far more important to tackle the Taliban inside
Pakistan than in Afghanistan, and the only way to deal
with the fundamentalist group was to confront it far more
directly and firmly, Krakowski told IANS in an interview.

"But they (Pakistan) have strengthened these elements
rather than weakened them and the problem today is larger
for the Pakistan government than the other way (for
Afghanistan)," he said.

"Those elements ultimately are inimical to Pakistan's own
interests. It is not a question for Afghanistan, India or
the US but the stability and well being of Pakistan," he
said.

Krakowski believes India has a very significant strategic
role to play in Afghanistan along with that country's
surrounding states, the US and Russia.

"The significant common ground among all surrounding
states is the realization that there is a (power) vacuum
in Afghanistan that is a threat to everyone," he said.

About the international reconstruction programme for
Afghanistan, he said: "There are too many cooks. You have
a lot of countries doing different things, their efforts
overlapping at times.

"This needs to be centralized," he said and noted the
Afghan government had complained about it.

He called for a "concert of states" in Afghanistan
consisting of all neighbouring countries and the US,
India and Russia to work on a long-term settlement of the
country's problems through regular consultations on a
day-to-day basis.

He said the security situation in the country should also
be dealt with in conjunction with all these states and
through the creation of a national army.

He emphasised the importance of disarming the warlords in
the provinces who continued to pose a challenge to the
Kabul government and eliminating the problem of opium
production.

But he said while there were still several problems
confronting Afghanistan, the steady progress that had
been made under the reconstruction programme and
enhancement of the stability of the central government
could not be ignored.

http://hindustantimes.com/news/181_313032,00050002.htm

Read the complete news at:
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