Skip to main content
CNN.com /transcript

CNN TV

EDITIONS
SERVICES
CNN TV
EDITIONS

CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

America Under Attack: Pakistan Given Choice - U.S. or Afghanistan

Aired September 13, 2001 - 05:35   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: In the meantime, the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan has given the government in Islamabad a choice -- it will be either stand with the United States or Afghanistan. Pakistan is one of only three nations that recognizes the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban government as rulers of Afghanistan.

CNN's Tom Mintier is in Islamabad with more on this meeting. Tom, I thought that the military ruler in Pakistan had already pledged support. "Unstinted cooperation" is what he said yesterday. How much further does the U.S. ambassador need to take this? Tom Mintier?

TOM MINTIER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think it's gone a step further than unstinted cooperation. It is we are with you. We are with you was the message that the American ambassador received this morning. She was at the president's office to present her credentials, one of five nations here in Pakistan presenting their credentials today for their new ambassador.

Wendy Chamberlain has been the ambassador here in Islamabad for about a month. But this was probably the most time she has spent with a Pakistani president and did receive a message back. There was a phone call last night between U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and the Pakistani president. But today the message was plain and clear to the American ambassador from the Pakistani leadership.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WENDY CHAMBERLAIN, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO PAKISTAN: The president made a very strong statement that he was with us and I think that's probably all I'm able to say at this point. But let me just say that it was positive, it was strong. He repeated several times during the meeting that he was with us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MINTIER: He is with us is something that the U.S. ambassador said not once but twice.

Now, the people who are not there anymore is in Kabul. Many of the U.N. diplomats and aid workers have made their way out, flying on U.N. flights here. The U.N. planes are pretty small, so it only takes about 15 people. So more than 40 people came out this morning. They expect three additional flights this afternoon as aid workers and diplomats come out.

The German embassy has told its citizens they must leave Afghanistan, so some of the German aid workers were there. Also, those, there are eight international residents that are in custody in Afghanistan awaiting trial on preaching Christianity in Afghanistan. They, of course, are there. But those who are assisting them and representing the nations involved are now leaving Afghanistan and coming here to Pakistan.

So we expect at least three more flights of aid workers coming out this afternoon and there's also some convoys coming out of Kabul, trying to make their way out.

There was also a rather important meeting last night between the senior leaders of the Taliban and the Pakistani government. This was a meeting to really determine where both sides stood. There was concern from the Pakistanis, according to diplomatic sources here in Islamabad, that the Taliban had not condemned the attack on the United States in strong enough language. The Taliban responded to the Pakistanis that there was difficulty in the translation of the word, not using the word condemned but criticized. So they held another press conference and used the word condemn.

The Taliban has a real problem because they still have Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, the problem being his presence there. And there is, I'm sure, grave concern in Kabul and the rest of Afghanistan what his presence is going to mean should and when the U.S. decides that military action is going to be used.

And it should also be pointed out that in that support by the Pakistani government, that may mean that the air space in Pakistan could be used if there is a military attack against the Taliban and Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan -- Carol.

LIN: So, Tom, I want to be perfectly clear. I only have less than a minute in your satellite window. You're saying that Pakistan is considering allowing the United States or NATO to use their soil to launch military operations against the Taliban or against Osama bin Laden if necessary?

MINTIER: Well, they haven't gone so far as to say use the soil, but in this unqualified support for the U.S. action against terrorism would probably mean a green light to use the air space. Using the ground may be something totally different and not yet discussed. We'll have to wait and see.

LIN: All right, thank you very much.

Tom Mintier reporting from Pakistan.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

 Search   


Back to the top