Karzai Outmaneuvers America

Karzai Outmaneuvers America

Dr Abdullah Abdullah, the "modern face" of Afghanistan, is a rare finished product to emerge out of the jihad of the 1980s - a handsome, nattily attired, English-speaking mujahideen spokesman who could evocatively bring to the Western drawing rooms the danger and the thrill of the Hindu Kush.

Slain Northern Alliance leader Ahmad Shah Massoud wouldn't think of losing him as his media manager and interpreter. Anyone who shook Abdullah's soft hands will at once discover he never held a Kalashnikov, although he would speak with great elan about the life and times of the mujahideen. That places Abdullah in a unique position to claim mujahideen pedigree, yet avoid being branded a "warlord".

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