US lawmaker asked to change his language
WASHINGTON (PAN): President Hamid Karzai on Monday stood firm on his government’s decision not to allow US Congressman Dana Rohrabacher to enter Afghanistan, alleging the American lawmaker’s political statements were aimed at splitting the nation.
“Definitely not,” Karzai sternly told the CNN during an interview when he was asked: “So you are not going to let him back into your country, Dana Rohrabacher?”
Karzai, who led an Afghan delegation to the two-day 25th NATO summit, was interviewed by the American cable network in Chicago.
“A democratically elected congressman of the United States of America should not be talking of an ethnic divide in Afghanistan, should not be interfering in Afghanistan's internal affairs, should not be asking Afghan people to have a federal structure, as against the Afghan constitution.
“(He) should not be speaking disrespectfully about the Afghan people or the various ethnic groups in Afghanistan,” Karzai remarked while hitting out at Rohrabacher, who has been critical of the Afghan leader in the past.
“If an Afghan did that from Afghanistan, how would you react to him in America?” the president asked, reiterating he would not allow Rohrabacher to enter the country until he changed his attitude.
“Until he changes his language, until he shows respect to the Afghan people, to our way of life and to our constitution, no foreigner has any place asking another people, another country, to change their constitution,” he retorted.
Responding to a question, Karzai said Rohrabacher’s recent comments on Afghanistan did not fall within the purview of freedom of speech.
“The freedom of speech is good. We respect that. But the freedom of speech with regard to other countries is another issue. He has freedom of speech within the United States. And we have freedom of speech within Afghanistan,” he said.
“But if an Afghan member of parliament stood up and said the United States should be divided into five different regions, would you accept that?” he asked.
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