Ever since 9/11, readers keep asking me my views on these attacks. I have been barraged with emails until my head spins with engineering studies about melting steel, controlled explosions, claims about nefarious plots, and wreckage analysis.

One of the most colorful theories comes from Gen. Hamid Gul, former director of Pakistan’s intelligence agency, ISI. He insists that 9/11 was staged by Israel’s Mossad and a cabal of rightwing US Air Force generals.

I inspected the ruins of the New York’s Twin Towers, atop which I often dined, right after the attack. Downtown Manhattan was enveloped by a hideous, stinking miasma from the attack. I have never smelled anything so awful. It took me days to scrub the foul odor off my body. As a native New Yorker, I was shaken to the core by 9/11 – but hardly surprised, as I had predicted a major attack on the US nine days earlier.

While visiting the Pentagon to consult on the Mideast, I also inspected its outside wall hit by the third hijacked aircraft.
I saw photos of the impact site and could not understand what had happened to all the aircraft wreckage. There was almost none.

In 1993, I was hijacked over Germany on a Lufthansa flight bound for Cairo. The Ethiopian hijacker took us all the way back to New York City. The hijacker was threatening to crash our A310 jumbo jet into Wall Street.

Our flight was shadowed by US F-15 fighters that had orders to shoot, if necessary. Where, then, was US air defense on 11 Sept. 2001?

A day after 9/11, I was asked on CNN if Osama bin Laden was behind the attack. ‘We have yet to see the evidence,’ I replied. I maintain this position today.

Bin Laden denied he or al-Qaida was behind 9/11 and the death’s of nearly 3,000 people. The plot was hatched in Hamburg, Germany and Madrid, Spain, not in Afghanistan. A Pakistani, Khaled Sheik Mohammed, claimed he was the mastermind – after being tortured by near-drowning 183 times by the CIA.

While denying involvement, Osama bin Laden did say he believed the attack on New York was in part motivated by Israel’s destruction of downtown Beirut during its 1982 invasion of Lebanon that inflicted some 18,000 civilian deaths.

Tapes that appeared to confirm bin Laden’s guilt were clumsy fakes. They were supposedly “found” in Afghanistan by the anti-Taliban Afghan Northern Alliance, which was created and funded by Russian intelligence.

I had met Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan and told CNN viewers that he was not the man in the tapes.

After 9/11, Secretary of State Colin Powell promised Americans the State Department would issue a White Paper detailing bin Laden’s guilt. Afghanistan’s Taliban government asked for this document before it would extradite bin Laden, as the US was demanding. The White Paper was never produced, and the US ignored proper legal procedure and invaded Afghanistan. We still wait for evidence.

I remain uncertain that Osama bin Laden was really behind the attacks. Much circumstantial evidence points to him and al-Qaida, but conclusive proof still lacks. One thing is certain: the attacks were planned and mounted from Germany, not Afghanistan. Of the 19 hijackers, 15 were Saudis, two from the United Arab Emirates, one an Egyptian and a Lebanese.

By the way, I’ve said ever since 9/11 that the danger and size of al-Qaida has been vastly exaggerated – as an explosive report this week by the London’s esteemed International Institute for Strategic Studies has just confirmed. Al-Qaida, dedicated to fighting the Afghan Communists, never had more than 300 members at its peak.

Today, according to CIA chief Leon Panetta, there are no more than 50 al-Qaida men in Afghanistan. Yet President Barack Obama has tripled the number of US troops in Afghanistan to 120,000 because of what to calls the al-Qaida threat. What is going on?

Many people abroad believe al-Qaida is an American invention used to justify foreign military operations. I do not share this view. Osama bin Laden was never a US agent, though his group indirectly received funds from CIA to fight the Communists.

Back to 9/11. I still cannot understand how amateur pilots could manage to maneuver in low to hit the World Trade Center and Pentagon. As a Pakistani intelligence agent told me, “if they were really amateur Arab pilots, they would have crashed into one another, not the World Trade Center!”

The arrest of Israeli “movers” filming the attack and dancing with joy, and the subsequent arrest of groups of Israeli “students” supposedly tracking the would-be hijackers remains a deep mystery. So does the immobilization of US air defenses.

The US 9/11 Commission was a whitewash, as are all such government commissions. They are designed to obscure, not reveal, the truth.

A 2006, a Scripps Howard/Washington Post poll found that 36% of the 1,000 Americans sampled believed the US government was behind 9/11. Many Americans still do not believe the official version of 9/11.

Neither do many Europeans. The entire Muslim world believes 9/11 was the work of Israel and far right American neocons, led by Dick Cheney.

If the official story about 9/11 is true, the attacks caught the Bush administration asleep on guard duty. Bush’s incompetent national security advisor, Condoleeza Rice, brushed off serious warnings of the impending attack and actually cut spending on anti-terrorism just before 9/11.

The White House and media were quick to blame Muslims who hated America’s lifestyle and values, launching the concept of “Islamic terrorism” – i.e. that the Muslim faith, not political issues, prompted the attacks.

This dangerous canard has infected America, leading to a rising tide of Islamophobia. This week’s continued uproar over a Muslim community center in downtown New York, and a Florida preacher’s threat to burn Korans, are the latest doleful example of cultivated religious hatred.

The suicide team that attacked New York and Washington made clear its aim was: a. to punish the US for backing Israel’s repression of Palestinians; and b. what they called US “occupation” of Saudi Arabia. Though they were all Muslims, religion was not the motivating factor.

As the CIA’s former bin Laden expert Michael Scheuer rightly observed, the Muslim world was furious at the US for what it was doing in their region, not because of America’s values, liberties or religion.

These motives for the 9/11 attack have been largely obscured by the whipping up hysteria over “Islamic terrorism.” The planting of anthrax in New York, Florida and Washington soon after 9/11 was clearly designed to promote further anti-Muslim furor. The perpetrators of this red herring remain unknown. But the anthrax attack hastened passage of the semi-totalitarian Patriot Act that sharply limited the personal freedoms of Americans and imposed draconian new laws.

Faked bin Laden videos and audio tapes. Planted anthrax. An intact Koran implausibly found at ground zero. Evidence in a hijacker’s bag that had somehow failed to make his ill-fated flight. Immediate claims that al-Qaida was behind the attacks. Those amateur kamikaze pilots and collapsing towers.

Perhaps most damning, tapes taken in London of meetings between President George Bush and PM Tony Blair revealed a sinister proposal by the US president to provoke war with Iraq by painting US aircraft in UN colors, then buzzing Iraqi air defenses until they fired on them, thus providing a “casus belli.” Bush also reportedly told Blair that after Iraq, he would “go on” to attack Saudi Arabia, Syria and Pakistan.

In 1939, Nazi Germany dressed up soldiers in Polish uniforms to provoke a border fire-fight to justify Berlin’s ensuing invasion of Poland. Bush’s plan was of the same ilk. A president who would contemplate such a criminal operation might go a lot further to achieve his imperial dreams.

As a veteran journalist, to me, all this smells to high heaven. There are just too many unanswered questions, too many suspicions, and that old Roman legal question, “cui bono” – “to whose benefit?”

On 28 February, 1933, fire, set by a Dutch Jew, ravaged the Germany’s parliament, the Reichstag. While the Reichstag’s ruins were still smoking, Adolf Hitler’s government declared a war against “terrorism.” A “Decree for the Protection of People and State” was promulgated suspending all legal protections of speech, assembly, property, and personal liberties. The Reichstag fire allowed the government to round up “terrorism” suspects without due process of law and made police powers near absolute.

Sound familiar? Here’s another startling coincidence. Two years before 9/11, a series of mysterious apartment building bombings in Russia killed over 200 people. “Islamic terrorists” from Chechnya were blamed.

Panic swept Russia and boosted former KGB agent Vladimir Putin into full power. Russian security agents of FSB were caught red-handed planting explosives in another building, but the story was hushed up. A former FSB agent, Alexander Litvinenko, who tried to reveal this story, was murdered in London by radioactive polonium.

Similarly, the Bush administration’s neocons shamelessly used 9/11 to promote the invasion of Iraq. Just before the attack, polls showed 80% of Americans erroneously believed Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11. Dr. Goebbels would have been proud.

So what, in the end, can we conclude? 1. We still do not know the real story about 9/11. 2. The official version is not credible. 3. 9/11 was used to justify invading strategic Afghanistan and oil-rich Iraq. 4. The attacks plunged America into wars against the Muslim world and enriched the US arms industry. 5. 9/11 boosted pro-Israel neoconservatives, formerly a fringe group, into power, and with them America’s totalitarian far right. 6. Bush’s unprovoked war against Iraq destroyed one of Israel’s two main enemies. 7. 9/11 put America in what may turn out to be a permanent state of war with the Muslim world – a key goal of the neoconservatives.

But I’ve seen no hard evidence to date that 9/11 was a plot by America’s far right or by Israel or a giant cover-up. Just, perhaps, the Mother of All Coincidences. In the end, it may just have been 19 angry Arabs and a bumbling Bush administration looking for someone else to blame.

Eric Margolis [send him mail] is the author of War at the Top of the World and the new book, American Raj: Liberation or Domination?: Resolving the Conflict Between the West and the Muslim World. See his website

The Fraudulent Criminalization of Marijuana

The Fraudulent Criminalization of Marijuana

For almost 40 years, the United States has waged a war on its own citizens who have used marijuana as a part of a drug culture originally encouraged by the government.  The war was commenced despite the government’s own findings that marijuana posed less of a risk to American society than alcohol, and that the greatest harm that would result from criminalization would be the injury caused to those arrested for possession and use.  The harm caused by the war extends beyond its 15 million prisoners; its cost has exceeded a trillion dollars, and it has benefitted only those who profit from the illegal cultivation and sale of marijuana.

Government Responsibility for the Drug Culture

Drug use became endemic among U.S. troops serving in Vietnam with more than 80% getting stoned on marijuana and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD).  Many of the secrets are still hidden; however, we now have some information about the extent of the government’s responsibility for the development of the drug culture in the military and in communities across America.  These are the highlights:

● Although the U.S. was a signatory to the Geneva Convention protocols banning the use of chemical weapons, the U.S. Army engaged in extensive testing of marijuana and its active ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) as an incapacitating agent in warfare.  A secret research program tested these substances, including highly-concentrated derivatives, on thousands of American GIs without their informed consent.

● The CIA engaged in a ten-year secret program to identify and test drugs for use as truth serums during interrogations and as incapacitating agents.  Operation Midnight Climax secretly tested LSD on the unwitting patrons of a CIA-financed whorehouse.

● The U.S. Army envisioned “driving people crazy for a few hours” by spiking a city’s water supply and developed a super hallucinogen known as quinuclidinyl benzilate (BZ), which was tested on thousands of soldiers.  Known as “agent buzz,” the Army produced more than 100,000 pounds of the chemical in a facility specifically designed for its incorporation into conventional bombs.   Allegations in foreign publications that BZ was deployed against North Vietnam troops have never been confirmed, and all files on the subject remain top secret.  However, it is known that the government considered using it for the control of domestic riots.

● To facilitate its alliance with the intelligence agencies of Thailand and Nationalist China, the CIA supported the transportation and refining of opium into heroin in Southeast Asia, including the opening of a cluster of heroin laboratories in the Golden Triangle in 1968-1969.  The CIA remained silent as its allies, including officers of the Hmong irregular army, routinely supplied heroin to American troops in Vietnam, resulting in the addiction rates as high as 34%.  In a secret report in 1972, the CIA Inspector General said: “The past involvement of many of these officers in drugs is well-known.”

● During classified testimony before a House committee in 1999, CIA Inspector General Britt Snider admitted that the CIA allowed its Nicaraguan Contra allies to smuggle huge quantities of cocaine into the United States during the 1980’s, which was refined into “crack” for sale by street gangs.  The House report found that “CIA employees did nothing to verify or disprove drug trafficking information, even when they had the opportunity to do so.  In some of these, receipt of a drug allegation appeared to provoke no specific response, and business went on as usual.”

The National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse

In 1971, President Nixon appointed Governor Raymond P. Shafer of Pennsylvania to chair a national commission to “report on the effects of marijuana and other drugs and recommend appropriate drug policies.  Governor Shafer was a former prosecutor, who was known as a “law and order” governor.

The “Shafer” Commission conducted the most extensive and comprehensive examination of marijuana ever performed by the US government. More than 50 projects were funded, “ranging from a study of the effects of marihuana on man to a field survey of enforcement of the marihuana laws in six metropolitan jurisdictions . . .”

“Through formal and informal hearings, recorded in thousands of pages of transcripts, we solicited all points of view, including those of public officials, community leaders, professional experts and students.  We commissioned a nationwide survey of public beliefs, information and experience . . .   In addition, we conducted separate surveys of opinion among district attorneys, judges, probation officers, clinicians, university health officials and free clinic personnel.”

Among the Commissions findings were:

● “No significant physical, biochemical, or mental abnormalities could be attributed solely to their marihuana smoking.”

● “No verification is found of a causal relationship between marihuana use and subsequent heroin use.”

● “In sum, the weight of the evidence is that marihuana does not cause violent or aggressive behavior; if anything marihuana serves to inhibit the expression of such behavior.”

● “Neither the marihuana user nor the drug itself can be said to constitute a danger to public safety.”

● “Marihuana’s relative potential for harm to the vast majority of individual users and its actual impact on society does not justify a social policy designed to seek out and firmly punish those who use it.”

The Commission concluded that “society should seek to discourage use, while concentrating its attention on the prevention and treatment of heavy and very heavy use.  The Commission feels that the criminalization of possession of marihuana for personal [use] is socially self-defeating as a means of achieving this objective . . .  Considering the range of social concerns in contemporary America, marihuana does not, in our considered judgment, rank very high.  We would deemphasize marihuana as a problem.”

President Nixon called Governor Shafer on the carpet and pressured him to change the Commission’s conclusion saying, “You see, the thing that is so terribly important here is that it not appear that the Commission’s frankly just a bunch of do-gooders.”  Governor Shafer declined to change his conclusions, and Nixon declined to appoint him to a pending federal judgeship.

The War on Drugs

White House tapes reveal that Nixon’s opinions about marijuana were based on his personal prejudices rather than the evidence.  He can be heard to make statements such as: “That’s a funny thing, every one of the bastards that are out for legalizing marijuana is Jewish. What the Christ is the matter with the Jews, Bob, what is the matter with them?  I suppose it’s because most of them are psychiatrists . . .   By God, we are going to hit the marijuana thing, and I want to hit it right square in the puss . . . ”

When Nixon was talking with Art Linkletter about “radical demonstrators,” he said “They’re all on drugs.’‘ On another occasion, Nixon compared marijuana to alcohol use saying that marijuana users smoke it to “get high,” while “a person drinks to have fun.”

Wanting to be strong, “like the Russians,” and to “scare” marijuana users, Nixon ordered his administration to come down hard on users and to target them as enemies in his “war on drugs.”

The war on marijuana and the false myths associated with its usage have been continued by every president since Nixon.  Since 1973, 15 million people, mostly young people who were committing no other crime, have been arrested for marijuana.  In just the last ten years, 6.5 million Americans have been arrested on marijuana charges.  Of the 829,625 people who were arrested in 2006, 738,915 of them were in simple possession.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. announced in March 2009 that the administration would discontinue raids on the distributors of medical marijuana, including California – which was the first state to legalize marijuana sales upon a doctor’s recommendation.

Although President Obama backed off on arresting medical marijuana users, his 2010 National Drug Control Strategy continues the hard line: “Keeping drugs illegal reduces their availability and lessens willingness to use them.  That is why this Administration firmly opposes the legalization of marijuana or any other illicit drug.”  Contrary to the


findings of the Shafer Commission, the only existing comprehensive government study on the subject, Obama goes on to say, “Diagnostic, laboratory, clinical and epidemiological studies clearly indicate that marijuana use is associated with dependence, respiratory and mental illness, poor motor performance, and cognitive impairment, among other negative effects, and legalization would only exacerbate these problems.”

Fourteen states and the District of Columbia have now followed California in passing laws permitting the use of marijuana for medical purposes; however, no state, thus far, has decriminalized personal possession for recreational use or personal enjoyment.

After spending a trillion dollars in the battle, the war on marijuana has been a complete failure.  Although a marijuana user is arrested every 38 seconds, one hundred million people, or about one third of all Americans acknowledge they have used marijuana, and 15 million “criminals” used it in the last month.

The only victors in the war on drugs have been the criminals who have profited from illegal sales.  There is an estimated $15 billion in illegal cannabis transactions each year just in California.  These transactions are not taxed or regulated.

The cultivation of marijuana in Mexico soared 35% last year to production levels greater than any time in the last 20 years.  According to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, in 2006 more than 60% of the revenue generated by Mexican drug cartels came from cannabis sales in the U.S.

Nixon’s war has been expensive; it has been a failure; and it has caused great damage to the fabric of America society.  The harm has been particularly felt by its young people who suffer up to 80% of the marijuana arrests and who are disproportionately African American and Latino.

California’s Initiative to Decriminalize Marijuana Possession

The penalty upon conviction for possession and use of less than an ounce of marijuana in California is now restricted to a maximum of a $100 fine.  If California voters approve Proposition 19 on their November ballot, such possession by a person over the age of 21 will no longer be a crime under California law.

Just as California and New York ended criminal sanctions against the possession and sale of alcohol before prohibition was repealed, California voters again have the chance to remedy the evils caused by almost 40 years of a war without foundation or cause.

The initiative: “Changes California Law to Legalize Marijuana and Allow It to Be Regulated and Taxed.”  It includes the following provisions:

● Allows people 21 years or older to possess, cultivate, or transport marijuana for personal use.

● Permits local governments to regulate and tax commercial production and sale of marijuana to people 21 years or older.

● Prohibits people from possession marijuana on school grounds, using it in public, smoking it while minors are present, or providing it to anyone under 21 years old, and ●Maintains current prohibitions against driving while impaired.

The California Legislative Analyst and the Director of Finance estimate there will be savings of up to several tens of millions of dollars annually to state and local governments on the costs of incarcerating and supervising certain marijuana offenders.  In addition, there are unknown, but potentially major tax, fee, and benefit assessment revenues to state and local government related to the production and sale of marijuana products.


In 1972, during the same year of the Shafer Commission, I was a sergeant of police in Los Angeles and had just completed a two-year assignment to write and obtain approval of the Department’s Policy Manual, which defined the principles and philosophy of policing in the city.  I was also attending law school and I was “loaned” to the staff of the Police Task Force of President Nixon’s National Advisory Commission on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals, where I was privileged to draft the introductory chapters defining the role of the police in America.

Following graduation the next year and passing the state bar examination, I moved to Washington, D.C. to work for the Justice Department’s Law Enforcement Assistance Administration to implement national criminal justice standards and goals.  As a result of these initiatives, the quality of policing in America has been vastly improved over the years, and today, law enforcement is a profession which I am proud to have been a part of.

Several times I had to fight for my life while enforcing the law, and three of my law enforcement friends were murdered in the line of duty.  I am not naive.  I have walked through too much blood and have seen too much pain and suffering during my career.  Everything I have learned during almost 50 years in the justice system compels a conclusion that the criminalization of marijuana was a fraud on the American people from the very inception of the war on drugs.

I am not alone in this conclusion, which has been joined by a large number of active and retired law enforcement officials and judges in the United States and other countries.

Every voter has a duty to honestly consider the issues presented by Proposition 19 and vote as though one of his or her children, a niece or nephew, or a friend’s child will be caught experimenting with marijuana in the future.  How will you want the matter handled?  By creating a criminal, or by using the occasion as an educational opportunity?

We hopefully remember the danger to society caused by the prohibition of alcohol and we have seen how education and reasonable regulation has substantially reduced the use of tobacco in our society.

Let us rely on the true facts, our experience, our best judgement, and our consciences, instead of our prejudices or the misleading myths that continue to be perpetuated by our government.  Let us bring an end to the fraudulent war on marijuana.

William John Cox is a retired prosecutor and public interest lawyer, author and political activist.  His efforts to promote a peaceful political evolution can be found at VotersEvolt.com, his writings are collected at WilliamJohnCox.com and he can be contacted at u2cox@msn.com.

CIS intelligence agencies to strengthen cooperation

CIS intelligence agencies to strengthen cooperation

16/09-2010 08:47, Bishkek – 24.kg news agency , by Anton LYMAR

The intelligence agencies of the CIS countries will strengthen cooperation, RIA Novosti informs.

According to the agency, the heads of the CIS intelligence agencies intend to strengthen cooperation for conducting quality and concordant with the imperatives of our era fighting against possible CIS external security hazards, reads the memorandum, signed as a result of the 11th meeting of heads of security and intelligence agencies of the CIS countries, held on September 14-15 in Baku.

The meeting was chaired by Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service of Russia Mikhail Fradkov, who reported about the work, accomplished after the previous meeting. He underlined that cooperation of the CIS security and intelligence agencies is an important factor in fighting against international terrorism, religious and political extremism, against possible hazards to the CIS countries’ security.

At Mikhail Fradkov’s suggestion, Eldar Makhmudov, the Minister of National Security of Azerbaijan, was elected as a next Chairman of the meeting of heads of security and intelligence agencies.

It was decided to conduct the 12th meeting of heads of CIS countries’ security and intelligence agencies in Dushanbe.

LAPD Creates “Pre-Crime” Database for “Predictive Policing”

LAPD, sheriff’s department unveil crime-fighting database link

From wire service reports

Sheriff Lee Baca and Los Angeles Police Chief Department Charlie Beck on Tuesday unveiled a database that links local, state and federal agencies in the fight against crime and focuses on communities, rather than criminals.

“This system has the capability to empower police agencies to effectively identify and assess problem areas, without regard to jurisdictional boundaries, just like crime,” said Baca.

The Community Based Information System combines information on crime, community demographics, social service referrals, school dynamics and other data relevant to law enforcement decision-making.

“The CBIS provides real time intelligence between local, state and federal agencies that will allow us to combat crime together,” said Special Agent in Charge John Torres of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Los Angeles Field Division.

“If this database can save one life, and I know it will, ATF will continue its collaboration with this project to ensure open lines of intelligence (are) being shared with all levels of law enforcement.”

Officials said the purpose of the database was not to track criminals or analyze crimes committed, like typical law enforcement technology, but to better understand the socioeconomic dynamics that underlie troubled neighborhoods.

Beck contrasted the active nature of the database with older, reactive technologies.

“The very nature of CBIS supports our goals to further develop and enhance LAPD’s predictive policing efforts, because it presents a comprehensive picture of the communities we serve, especially those troubled by violence and gang crime,” Beck said.

“The future of smarter, more effective policing means knowing where and when crime will happen.”

Steve Whitmore of the sheriff’s department offered an example.

“If (law enforcement) sees an area that’s beginning to grow into terms of crime … a specific kind of crime, like property crimes, that may be related to drugs … (officials can) start flooding the area, not only with police, but with social services,” Whitmore said.

Using the database, officers will also be able to provide immediate referrals to local resources for residents of the neighborhoods they police.

For example, patrol officers who encounter a homeless person who seems to be intoxicated will be able to offer information not only on nearby shelters, but also on rehab centers which work with the homeless or area hospitals that offer substance abuse programs for the uninsured, said Whitmore.

“We can provide the community with tangible solutions to their problems and create a cultural shift within law enforcement,” Baca said.

Whitmore said Baca is convinced that “you can’t arrest your way out of this problem” and believes intervention is critical to long-term success in combating crime.

Community advocates also applauded the new technology.

“CBIS is a breakthrough platform linking law enforcement with quality community data, moving law enforcement towards achieving the best of 21st century policing,” said Connie Rice, director of the Advancement Project, a civil rights and policy “action tank” striving for social justice.

The system will be housed in a single secure location and be accessible to all law enforcement agencies within Los Angeles and Orange counties, according to Baca.

Karzai castigates Pakistan for providing refuge to terrorists

Karzai castigates Pakistan for providing refuge to terrorists

2010-09-16 13:00:00
At a press conference with Asif Ali Zardari, Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai has criticised Pakistan for harbouring sanctuaries and training camps of the terrorists within its territorial limits.

“There are sanctuaries and training camps in our countries. Militants are not coming from Ivory Coast, they are coming from our lands,” the Dawn quoted Karzai, as saying.

He has been accusing Pakistan of taking no action against terrorists’ sanctuaries and training camps for several years.

However, at the press conference, the two presidents, underlining the need for concerted and coordinated efforts to eliminate extremism from their soils, pledged to work together against terrorism.

Commenting on reports that Indian consulates in Afghanistan were being used for destabilising Balochistan, Karzai said his government would never allow anyone to use its territory against any other country, adding that he was ready to help normalise relations between Pakistan and India.

Replying to a question on his offer of talks to Taliban leader Mullah Omar, Karzai clarified his offer, saying, “We have made talks offer to those Taliban who are not part of Al Qaeda and are ready to obey the Afghan constitution.”

A delegation-level meeting to discuss issues of mutual concern and explore the possibility of enhancing the existing cooperation between the two countries followed the one-to-one meeting between the two presidents.

Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Zalmai Rassoul, Defence Minister General Abdul Rahim Wardak and National Security Adviser Dr Rangeen Dadfar Wardak represented the Afghan delegation, while Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, Commerce Minister Amin Fahim and Interior Minister Rehman Malik represented Pakistan. (ANI)