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Mintier: Taliban's Pakistan embassy closed

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- Taliban diplomatic officials quickly packed and left their former embassy in Islamabad on Thursday after Pakistan ordered the mission closed, effectively ending Pakistan's recognition of the Taliban government of Afghanistan.

CNN's Tom Mintier is based in Islamabad. He filed this report.

MINTIER: It has been whispered about and talked about privately for days, if not weeks, that the relationship between Pakistan and the Taliban was basically over. Even before the bombing campaign started in Afghanistan, Pakistan removed its diplomats from Kabul and brought them back into Pakistan.

Now, they have told the Afghans to leave, saying the Taliban no longer represent the government of Afghanistan. Late this afternoon at the Taliban embassy, it was rather frenzied as about eight Taliban workers were leaving the embassy. When asked on their way out where they were going, they said they'd be going home first, but asked further they said they would be going to Kandahar.

We tried to reach Taliban Ambassador Mullah Abdul Salam, who has basically not spent time in the embassy in the last few weeks, to ask him what his feelings were about Pakistan ordering the embassy closed. He was at his residence and not accepting visitors.

This move may have come about at the urging of the Untied States. Just yesterday, the U.S. State Department spokesman said it's no longer necessary to have relationships with the embassy that the Taliban occupied in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Well, they made it official, saying they've been notified. They have sent the communication that the Taliban embassy in Pakistan, where there have been so many press conferences in the last couple of months, is now officially closed.

There has been speculation over the last few days that the relationship between the Taliban and Pakistan would be downgraded from ambassadorial status, but they didn't go that step. They took the long jump and basically severed the diplomatic relations with the Taliban as they become increasingly isolated to just Kandahar.


• Pakistan closes Taliban embassy
November 22, 2001

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