KABUL: An Afghan official said on Saturday that Saddam Hussein’s trial and execution show a double standard in the international community, as no one in Afghanistan has been prosecuted for atrocities from the country’s 25 years of war.

Ahmad Nadir Nadery, an official with the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, said war crimes trials would end the impunity enjoyed by Afghan warlords.

“This is something we need in Afghanistan, and it's something the international community has forgotten to do here,” Nadery said.

He said Saddam's execution signals a double standard “in terms of dealing with the past atrocities in Iraq, but ignoring Afghanistan.”

Afghan President Humid Karzai said the killing of Saddam was “the work of the Iraqi government” and would have “no effect” on Afghanistan.

However, he appeared to criticize the execution's timing.

“We wish to say that Eid is a day for happiness and reconciliation. It is not a day for revenge,” Karzai told reporters at the presidential palace after offering Eid prayers at Kabul's main mosque.

Karzai did not comment on whether Afghanistan should have war crimes trials.

Nadery said that high-profile figures like Taliban leader Mullah Omar and Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden should be put on trial, and that other fighters from the war with the Soviets, the country's 1990s civil war and from the Taliban should also face justice.

An estimated 50,000 civilians died during the 1992-96 war, a time of anarchy that gave rise to the Taliban.

Many commanders from that era now hold positions of power in the Afghan government.—AP



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