Find a Security Clearance Job!

Military

SLUG: 2-281037 Afghan / U-S (L Update)
DATE:
NOTE NUMBER:

DATE=09/26/2001

TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT

NUMBER=2-281037

TITLE=ATTACKS / AFGHAN / U-S (L-UPDATE)

BYLINE=AYAZ GUL

DATELINE=ISLAMABAD

CONTENT=

VOICE AT:

/// EDS: COMBINES 2-281029 EARLIER WITH INFO ON REFUGEES, AND PAKISTAN'S REFUSAL TO TAKE PART IN ANY MILITARY ACTION IN AFGHANISTAN. ///

INTRO: In Afghanistan's capital, thousands of people have taken to the streets to protest possible U-S military strikes against the Taleban. As Ayaz

Gul reports, neighboring Pakistan says it will keep its border with

Afghanistan closed to refugees, despite the flood of people trying to escape Afghan cities.

TEXT: The demonstrators threw stones and ripped the U-S symbol from the

abandoned U-S embassy, setting fire to several vehicles at the compound.

Taleban militiamen later brought the fires under control. The U-S Embassy

has been abandoned for years -- well before the Taleban took control of

Kabul in 1996.

Wednesday's demonstration was the biggest show of anti-American anger in

Kabul since the United States demanded the Taleban turn over Osama bin

Laden - the chief suspect in U-S terror attacks that killed more than

six-thousand people. Taleban leaders have refused to hand over Mr. Bin

Laden, saying he is innocent of the terrorism charges.

Meanwhile, fighting in northern Afghanistan has intensified since the

United States began beefing up its military forces in the region for

possible retaliation against terror suspects. Members of the ruling Taleban

movement say its forces have retaken a key northern district that it lost

to the opposition Northern Alliance earlier this week. It is difficult to

confirm the details of the fighting because of a lack of independent

observers in the region.

Anti-Taleban forces have offered to help the United States if it

decides to take military action against alleged terrorist targets in Afghanistan.

Fears of a possible U-S attack have forced tens of thousands of Afghans from their homes to try to avoid being caught in the military action. The United Nations says nearly one million Afghans could arrive in neighboring

Pakistan, which is refusing to open its border for the time being.

Abbas Sarfaraz is Pakistan's Minister's for Refugee Affairs.

//SARFARAZ ACT//

At this point in time, given the situation that we have, there is no plan

to open the border. However, if there is situation whereby within

Afghanistan the situation becomes untenable, by that I mean if there is an

attack on Afghanistan, then purely for the sake of humanitarian reasons, we

would contemplate that.

//END ACT//

Pakistani officials have asked the international community for 122-million

dollars in aid to handle any refugee crisis. Pakistan has emerged as the

key player in the U-S led anti-terrorism efforts because it is the only

country that has diplomatic ties with the Taleban movement. But a

spokesman for Pakistan's Foreign Ministry, Riaz Mohammad Khan, reiterated Wednesday his country will not join any military action against Afghanistan.

//KHAN ACT//

Pakistan cannot and can never join any hostile action against Afghanistan

or against the people of Afghanistan. It is the fight against terrorism in

which Pakistan is part of the international community. And we want the

Afghan government (the Taleban) also be responsive to what the

international community is asking them to do.

//END ACT//

Pakistan has promised "full support for the U-S campaign to get alleged

terrorist mastermind, Osama bin Laden, who lives in Afghanistan under

Taleban protection. Pakistani leaders say they have no plans to cut

diplomatic ties with the Taleban as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab

Emirates have done. They say keeping a dialogue open with the Islamic

movement could help avert a military confrontation. (SIGNED)

NEB/AG/KBK



NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list