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Tom Mintier: Pakistani view on Afghanistan's future

CNN's Tom Mintier
CNN's Tom Mintier  

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- With the Northern Alliance marching into Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, and Taliban forces retreating to Kandahar on Tuesday, speculation has begun on what new political foundations should be formed in the war-torn country.

Neighboring Pakistan is offering its own agenda. Officials with the country want Kabul demilitarized and put under the control of U.N. peacekeeping troops.

CNN's Tom Mintier filed the following report from Islamabad:

MINTIER: The Pakistan foreign ministry was basically saying that they knew this was going to come sooner or later. But they were given the assurances by the political leadership through the Northern Alliance that Kabul would not be taken by their military forces -- that they would simply wait outside until the political solution was put in place and installed in Kabul. That did not happen. The military went forward and did capture the city.

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At a press briefing Tuesday afternoon, the spokesman for the foreign ministry was saying he would like to see Kabul demilitarized and would like to see the United Nations put together a peacekeeping, multinational force under the supervision of the U.N. Security Council, to basically administer and control and run Kabul until the political solution is indeed put into place.

We also heard from the United Nations spokesperson here in Islamabad Tuesday that this push to Kabul was not without casualties. There are reports from several sources to the U.N. that at least 100 young Taliban fighters were caught in a school and executed by the Northern Alliance. Now, this is the U.N. saying this.

So, the bloodshed that everyone talks about seems to have occurred. The eight or nine bodies that CNN's Matthew Chance reported are probably multiplied by a much larger factor when you consider the entire battlefield leading up to the taking of Kabul.

CNN: What kind of leverage does the Pakistani government have with the Northern Alliance? There's a very messy history between the two, isn't there?

MINTIER: Absolutely. I think the sway they have is very much indirect. Pakistan, as you remember, has promised the United States several things -- the ability to use the country for logistical purposes, for overflights and for providing intelligence. Part of the deal in the discussions with the United States may have been, "We would like to have a neighbor that is not Northern Alliance-dominated."

They would like to see a multiethnic government put into place in Afghanistan by the international community rather than once again see the Northern Alliance run the country, which would provide a very uneasy time for Pakistan, looking to one direction and seeing the Northern Alliance and looking to the other direction and seeing India.


• Taliban withdraw from Kabul
November 13, 2001

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