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'Strong reaction' if Pak militants killed in Afghanistan, fundos tell Islamabad

'Strong reaction' if Pak militants killed in Afghanistan, fundos tell Islamabad

Author: Press Trust of India/Agence France-Presse
Publication: www.expressindia.com
Date: November 22, 2001
URL: http://www.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=4773

Karachi, November 21: Islamic radicals in Pakistan warned on Wednesday of a "strong reaction" if Pakistani militants were massacred in the besieged city of Kunduz, the Taliban's last stronghold in northern Afghanistan. "The United Nations and the government of Pakistan must do something for their rescue soon otherwise there will be a bloodbath in Kunduz," a top Muslim cleric, Mufti Nizamuddin Shamazai, told AFP.

"If Pakistanis are massacred in Kunduz, there will be a strong reaction here against the military government, which they would not be able to control," he said.

Earlier rumblings from Pakistan's religious right and pro-Taliban parties failed to elicit a widespread response from mainstream society here, but carry a genuine threat of violent unrest from the radical minority.

Shamazai's warning came amid reports of summary executions of captured Taliban fighters in other areas of Afghanistan since the dramatic withdrawal of the Islamic militia earlier this month. Upto 30,000 Taliban troops, including hardcore Pakistani, Arab, and Chechen fighters from Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network, are making a stand in northern Kunduz since the main Taliban forces fled the northern region. They are surrounded by Northern Alliance forces and face daily poundings from US bombers.

Pakistan's hardline pro-Taliban Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam party said 10,000 Pakistanis had gone to Afghanistan to fight with the militia, with an unknown number in Kunduz. Pakistan's main fundamentalist party, Jamaat-i-Islami, said it would hold the government responsible for the killing of Pakistanis in Kunduz.
 


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