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Taliban Targets Media

March 25, 2001

* Re your March 16 reporting of the weeklong "charm offensive" that a young representative of Afghanistan's Taliban government recently waged in California:

That Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi would refute the fact that his government denies education, jobs and health care to Afghan women is as unsurprising as it is dishonest.

The spin he is putting on the Taliban's destruction of ancient Buddhist statues--that they were destroyed in protest because the international community showed more concern about these statues than about the Afghans--ignores the fact that the Taliban has targeted thousands of artifacts at the same time that food aid is being delivered to Afghanistan.

The Taliban claims to represent peace and stability, having unified this fractious country. While it may have conquered most of Afghanistan's territory by force of arms, the Taliban's disregard for fundamental human rights and the well-being of Afghans makes this a tenuous peace at best.



Member, House International

Relations Committee

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