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Pak wants UN to oversee its border with Afghanistan

Pak wants UN to oversee its border with Afghanistan

Author: K J M Varma in Islamabad
Publication: Rediff on Net
Date: April 10, 2001

Pakistan may ask for United Nations observers to be placed across its 2,500 km boundary with Afghanistan to oversee its compliance to UN sanctions against the Taleban for countering the joint moves by Russia and France to press for similar sanctions against Islamabad for its continued support to Afghanistan's ruling militia.

As Pakistan diplomats, both in UN and several European capitals, geared up to counter Russian and French attempts to bring about a UN Security Council resolution to impose sanctions against Pakistan, official sources in Islamabad did not rule out Pakistan throwing open its Afghan border, known as Durand Line, for an effective UN supervision.

The Russian and French moves come ahead of the scheduled Security Council review of the implementation of the UN sanctions against the Taleban on Friday.

Pakistan has already stated on eve of the implementation of the UN sanctions against the Taleban, which came into effect on January 19 this year, that it would fully enforce sanctions and asked for UN monitoring mechanism to oversee the implementation.

Meanwhile, according to media reports Pakistan diplomats in the UN began hectic efforts to prevent the Russian and French efforts to gather any significant support.

Pakistan's permanent representative at UN, Shamshad Ahmad, addressed a press conference at New York on Monday to inform the world media that Islamabad has fully complied with the UN sanctions against the Taleban and dismissed the report of providing support to them.

The Russian and French move to corner Pakistan was seen by the media here as an attempt by both the countries to bolster the anti-Taleban alliance of Ahmed Shah Masood.

The Afghan leader returned to the centrestage of Afghan politics last year when he suddenly surfaced in Brussels to address the European Parliament on a special invitation.

As if to counter this, a 12-member delegation of Taleban's hardline Mullahs comprising of Afghanistan's Chief Justice Mullah Noor Mohammad Saqib and Foreign Minister, Mullah Ahmmad Mutwakil received a sudden invitation from Qatar king Sheikh Aamid al Kalifa al Thani.

Though the Taleban claimed to be controlling over 95 per cent of the territory, it is so far recognised only by Paksitan, Saudi Arabia and UAE. Of the three Pakistan only extended diplomatic status to the Taleban.

The Qatari king, who is also the current chairman of the Organisation of Islamic Countries sent a special plane to Afghanistan's Kandahar town to pick up the delegation. Qatar managed to obtain UN permission before it sent its plane to Kandahar, media reports said.

Commenting on the visit, Pakistan daily, The News said the timing of the Taleban visit to Qatar coinciding with Masood's arrival in Europe could be incidental. Still it would provide the Taleban with a rare opportunity to travel abroad and explain their case at time when their isolation has become eve more pronounced and international opposition to their policies at its peak.
 


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