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Robertson: A post-Taliban, Islamic scenario

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- As the attacks continued in Afghanistan on Thursday, Afghan community leaders meeting in neighboring Pakistan wound up a conference in which they discussed the post-Taliban future of Afghanistan.

CNN Correspondent Nic Robertson is in Islamabad. He filed this report.

ROBERTSON: Our staff in Kandahar (Afghanistan) has reported two overnight bombing raids. One raid, they said, seemed to be centered on a fuel depot. They thought they could see secondary explosions from this depot.

The other attack, they said, hit a civilian bus at 4 a.m. They say that they went to see this bus, and it was damaged, and that two people had been killed in it. This bus apparently was preparing to leave Kandahar for about a 16-hour drive north to Kabul.

Meanwhile, that meeting in Peshawar, Pakistan, of some 700 to 800 tribal religious and former military commanders from Afghanistan just concluded.

What those leaders have called for is, No. 1, they would like to see Osama bin Laden and all of his followers leave Afghanistan. They would also like to see a formation of a new government inside Afghanistan very quickly. They want to see this replace the Taliban. They would also like, they say, to see the United States and the allied bombing campaign stop over Afghanistan.

Now, what they want to achieve is ... a huge council across the whole of Afghanistan of all tribal religious leaders and political leaders that would help formulate the new political dispensation for Afghanistan. And what they want to see is the new government to be headed for an interim period by the exiled king, Zahir Shah.

And they're also calling for that new government to be made up of moderate Taliban elements, as well as have a new Islamic constitution. And perhaps one of the fundamental things they're also calling for from the international community is a U.N. presence to help administer Afghanistan in a post-Taliban period. But they do say that that should be made up of contributing countries, but those contributing countries, they say, would have to be Muslim countries.


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