Afghan minister urges new strategy to dismantle terror networks to win war on terrorism

Monday, September 27, 2010

Afghan minister urges new war on terror networks

UNITED NATIONS — Afghanistan’s foreign minister warned the U.S., NATO and other allies that if they want to win the war on terrorism they must look beyond Afghan villages and adopt a strategy that will decisively dismantle terror organizations and networks.

Zalmai Rassoul told the annual ministerial meeting of the U.N. General Assembly that these groups are expanding their operations and attacks in the region.

He said that as long as some government and non-government “actors” — which he didn’t identify — provide al-Qaida and its affiliates with sanctuary, arms and financing they will remain “formidable and murderous adversaries.”

Rassoul recalled that the U.N. declared a global war on terror in October 2001, just after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks against the United States, and lamented that as the ninth anniversary of the declaration approaches, “the international community’s promise to the people of Afghanistan of a life free from the fear of the threat and exploitation of international terrorism remains unfulfilled.”

“Afghans continue to suffer from horrific acts of terrorist violence on a daily basis,” Rassoul said.

He said Afghanistan has stressed repeatedly “that terrorism and the ideologies of extremism and radicalism are spawned beyond the borders of Afghanistan.”

“The audacity and geographic scope of extremist and terrorist groups harbored in our region continues to expand,” Rassoul said.

“If our international partners and allies wish to win the global war on terrorism, they must look beyond villages in Afghanistan, and engage in a strategy that will effectively and decisively dismantle organizations and networks that continue — with immunity — to support terrorist and radical militants,” he said.

The Taliban have been stepping up their attacks as Afghan and foreign troops ramp up their pressure on the insurgents.

U.S. and NATO troops are pushing into the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar, seen as key to the Obama administration’s strategy to turn around the nine-year war, while the insurgents are trying to undermine the ability of the Afghan government to rule much of the country.

Rassoul stressed that “terrorism remains a global challenge which can be defeated only through a concerted international effort.”

He said Afghanistan is committed to expanding counter-terrorism cooperation with Pakistan and other countries in the region.

The minister also pledged to work closely with the country’s neighbors and other international partners to win the war on narcotics.

“Insidious dangers of extremism and terrorism and their ever-increasing link with narcotics pose a serious threat to the security and stability of our country and region,” Rassoul said.

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