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Analysts seek apology from Holbrooke.

Political analysts have asked US Special Representative for CAAfghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke to tender an apology for his remarks CAagainst Pashtuns. CA<p>At a meeting held at the Regional Studies Centre in Kabul on Monday, political CAanalysts, experts, writers and researchers criticised Holbrooke's statement and sought CAan apology from the diplomat. CA

The Global Post newspaper quoted Richard Holbrooke as saying the United States CAwas not part of President Hamid Karzai's reconciliation strategy. He described the CATaliban as the product of Pashtun society.CA

Every Pashtun family had a person with links to the rebel movement, the envoy said, CAadding Hamid Karzai himself being was a Pakhtun wanted negotiations with the CATaliban fighters. CA

One analyst Habibullah Rafi rejected Holbrooke's comments as misplaced. He said it CAamounted to interference from the US in Afghanistan's internal affairs of. He said the CAUS government should apologise to Pakhtuns. CA

Raziq Mamoon, another analyst, also faulted Holbrooke's remarks. He believed the CAstatement reflected personal views of the envoy and not the American government's CAposition. CA

But Regional Studies Centre head Abdul Ghafoor Liwal felt anything uttered by a CAdiplomat represented the views of his/her government. He perceived the statement as CAan insult to the Afghan people and the US should seek an apology. CA

Another analyst, Abdul Rahman Hotaki, said it was an attack on the rights of 40 CAmillion people. He called on the Afghan government and parliament to approach the CAinternational court over Holbrooke's statement. CA

By the same token, members of the Wolesi Jirga also condemned the statement and CAsent a letter to the Foreign Ministry, asking it to seek an explanation from Holbrooke CAover his statement. CA

In a press release from the US embassy in Kabul, the special envoy clarified the CAstatement that he made regarding the Taliban insurgents. "I want to clarify an earlier CAstatement I made at the Harvard Forum regarding the Taliban."CA

He explained that when he noted almost every Pashtun family had someone involved CAwith the movement, he was reflecting President Karzai's comment in Istanbul.CA

The Afghan president had said in his remarks made in Turkey that the Taliban who CAwere not part of terrorist networks or al-Qaeda were sons of the Afghan soil. CA

CA"I was not suggesting that all Pashtuns are part of the Taliban or all Taliban are CAPashtuns," added President Barack Obama's point man for the region.CA

The diplomat reiterated Washington's support for Afghan-led efforts to reintegrate CAinto society the Taliban who agreed to abide by the Constitution of Afghanistan, CArenounced violence and ties to al-Qaeda.CA

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Publication:Pajhwok Afghan News (Kabul, Afghanistan)
Date:Mar 10, 2010
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