Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Murray Brewster, "Not up to Canada to criticize Karzai's warlord appointment: Day," Canadian Press, June 12, 2009.

[Is someone setting Karzai up for a fall? There has been a lot of dissatisfaction with him both at home and in the US. He has been unable to persuade his international patrons to let him decide how to spend the aid money (frequently described in the press as "investment.") But Day is beginning to sound like a wishy-washy Liberal. Nothing wrong with that I guess. Is his position an expression of ethics? or pragmatism? or confusion? all of the above? none? I'd like to hear more about community radio in Afghanistan. -jlt]

OTTAWA — Canadians may wince about President Hamid Karzai's choice of a unsavoury warlord as a vice-presidential candidate but Ottawa has no place condemning it, says the minister in charge of the Afghanistan file.

The choice of Mohammad Qasim Fahim, a former militia commander, has been condemned by diplomats and human-rights workers as major step backward.

But International Trade Minister Stockwell Day, who chairs the cabinet committee on Afghanistan, said Thursday that Canadians should have faith in the Afghan people and the fledgling democracy in that country. independent media is on the rise in Afghanistan, including 372 private newspapers or magazines and 16 private television stations.

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