A political storm has hit Italy after the beheading of Adjmal Nashkbandi, Daniele Mastrogiacomo's interpreter, on Sunday afternoon, twenty-four hours before ultimatum set by the Talibans. Both the Italian and the Afghan governments are in serious embarrassment, as Prime Minister Prodi and President Hamid Karzai are being accused of using a double standard in the negotiation for the liberation of the hostages, doing everything they could for Italian journalist Daniele Mastrogiacomo and practically nothing for his driver and interpreter, whose execution was displayed yesterday on national tv. Also, the real results of Italy's adoption of a "Movement Diplomacy" – an expression coined by Rifondazione Comunista's Fausto Bertinotti – are unfolding as Gino Strada's "mediator", Ramatullah Hanefi, was arrested and is now being held in an Afghan cell under the accusation of spying for the Talibans. Despite the appeal by opposition leader Silvio Berlusconi, who invited his coalition to show sense of responsibility "for the good name of the country", when Foreign Minister Massimo d'Alema will speak at the parliament on thursday, the opposition will demand the answer to several crucial questions. Namely, as former Interior Minister Giuseppe Pisanu declared, the Cabinet will have to explain the decision to entrust Gino Strada's NGO "Emergency" with the negotiations with the Talibans, the liberation of five key elements in the Taliban's hierarchy, and the role of Hamid Karzai's role in the affair.
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