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HOTLINE: America's New War, Pakistan's Opinion is Divided

Aired September 20, 2001 - 01:19   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.
JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: We are going to get a live report now from Tom Mintier, who is on the ground in Pakistan and has been bringing us live reports on this broadcast each night since we began about five nights ago.

Tom, good to see you. What's the latest?

TOM MINTIER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning Jack. The people of Pakistan are waking up after hearing from their president last night, calling on Pakistanians to use wisdom and intelligence, not emotion. Also calling on the United States to show tolerance and balance in their response to what might happen in Afghanistan.

Basically, almost an hour of his speech, where he also admitted that he sent a letter -- a personal letter to the Taliban leader Mulla Omar, basically calling on him to find a way out of this serious situation. Now as we went out on the streets this morning of Islamabad, opinion is divided.

Some who may have supported the president in his position still to do so; some sitting on the fence; some disagreeing very, very strongly. We've seen demonstrations for the last couple of days, very large demonstrations in Kuwait -- they're anti American demonstrations. So, the president basically going on TV and outlining the government's position, siding with the international community and going against terrorism, an easy decision on itself.

But when you put the balance of supporting the United States and any military strike against Pakistan's neighbors, Afghanistan and against the Taliban, and you have to remember Pakistan is only one of three countries that had diplomatic relations with the Taliban, and basically some say on religious means that this is turning their backs on Islam, if you will.

So, there are very, very strong feelings of not supporting the United States and not going along with any military action against the Taliban and Afghanistan and Osama bin Laden. There is strong support for bin Laden in the streets here at Islamabad. Jack.

CAFFERTY: The Pakistanians are in a tough spot, no question about it. Stay with us for a moment if you would do Tom. Let me -- all right, I understand we're going to say goodbye. I guess we're losing satellite. Tom Mintier from Islamabad, Pakistan, look forward to hearing from you again tomorrow. TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

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