“Azg” takes the view that the anticipated US strikes on Afghanistan will hardly root out international terrorism and will only benefit US defense industries. Not only will America fail to protect its citizens against further terrorist attacks but will also put its allies at risk.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” maintains that the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon provided the US administration with an “historic chance to resolve the problems of Afghanistan once and for all.” The Americans will be seeking to establish a “permanent military presence” in the war-ruined country and Central Asia in general, the paper says.
“Zhamanak” writes that Armenia too has suffered a lot from terrorism in the past ten years. This is particularly true for the October 1999 shootings in its parliament. The theory about the involvement of external forces in the killings has not yet been disproved by state investigators. “So regardless of the number of victims and the scale of devastation we need to reflect and draw lessons no less than the Americans do.” Government steps aimed at warding off future acts of terrorism must include a reform of the national security bodies, a real fight against corruption and alleviation of social polarization. Economic development is the best guarantee of political and economic stability.
The arrest of former dissident Azat Arshakian on charges of illegal arms possession also draws comments from the papers. While “Aravot” and “Haykakan Zhamanak” suspect that the case against Arshakian is politically motivated, “Yerkir” cheers the discovery of “yet another HHSh weapons den.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” reports that two senior officials from the ministry of environment, including the head of its geology department, have been arrested on corruption charges. The accusations are based on the findings of the government’s oversight service which inspected this and other ministries. The oversight service was headed by Gagik Poghosian who was killed in a hand grenade explosion last week. The paper sees a clear link between his murder and the arrests.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that the three opposition parties campaigning against President Robert Kocharian will circulate on Wednesday a document listing grounds for the president’s impeachment. Local chapters of the parties will be told to ask supporters to pressurize their parliament deputies into backing the impeachment initiative. Lawyer Vladimir Nazarian of the People’s Party (HZhK) says the document offers proof of “grave crimes” committed by Kocharian. One of them dates back to February 1998 when then Prime Minister Kocharian was found eligible to run for president. Nazarian says this was made possible by a “false document” from the interior ministry certifying that he had resided in Armenia in the preceding ten years.