Middle East expert Daniel Pipes and
Afghan Ambassador Ravan Farhadi.
MIDDLE EAST FORUM
May Recognize Israel
EXCLUSIVE Story and Photos by Tim Boxer
HE official representative of Afghanistan’s Northern Alliance told me the new government that will emerge from the American military campaign to depose the Taliban “will exchange ambassadors with Israel.”
Ravan Farhadi, ambassador to the United Nations of the Islamic State of Afghanistan, which controls a quarter of the country and is recognized by nearly all nations as the legitimate government, declared, “Israel has a right to exist.”
He added, “We will recognize Israel. Why not? Egypt has.”
A key element in a post-Taliban government, he said, will be the 86-year-old King Mohammad Zahir Shah, ousted in 1973. “It is not out of the question to restore the monarchy,” Farhadi said.
Farhadi told me that 20 years ago the king was introduced to the Israeli ambassador in Katmandu, Nepal. “They both shook hands.”
He recounted that story as an indication of friendship between Afghanistan and Israel.
Ambassador Ravan Farhadi and wife,
Adela Hachemi Farhadi.
Farhadi appeared for a briefing at the Middle East Forum, a think tank headed by Daniel Pipes, held at a law firm in Midtown Manhattan.
While insisting that “all resolutions of the UN General Assembly and Security Council be implemented,” he said that Afghanistan “does not want to be a factor in that region.”
Farhadi said that although Pakistan’s president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, claims he’s helping the U.S. in its fight against the Taliban, “we have to recognize that they created the Taliban.”
He faulted Pakistan’s military intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), for “providing armaments, military advisors and non-Afghans to fight in the Taliban army.”
And he charged that “Saudi Arabia provided the finances for a good part of these Pakistani fighters. Our side was defeated in 1997 not by the Taliban but by the Pakistanis.”
He said that three years ago 500 Arabs came to Afghanistan where Pakistan arranged for the establishment of training camps. They came from Yemen, Morocco, Nigeria and especially from Saudi Arabia.
“Today they have battalions, each of them with 2,500 Arabs. They got training not only for military operations but for terror, too.”