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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

America's New War: Pakistani Delegation Traveling to Afghanistan

Aired September 28, 2001 - 06:09   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, we want to go overseas now and check in on Pakistan. Pakistan is making another diplomatic push with the Taliban in Afghanistan. The delegation is expected to press the Afghan rulers one more time to hand over suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden.

CNN's Tom Mintier joins us live from Islamabad with more details on this delegation.

And, Tom, they're saying that it's not going to be the last time they try to talk with the Taliban either.

TOM MINTIER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's correct, Carol. It's quite possibly not the last time that the Pakistanis will send a delegation into Kandahar to try to convince the Taliban to see things differently then they have in the past.

This delegation left early in the morning from Islamabad, from the military side of the airfield, apparently. The delegation also included the Taliban's ambassador to Pakistan. He also made the trip to have a meeting with the Taliban Foreign Minister in Kandahar. Kandahar, the political center of the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Now this meeting has been going on for four or five hours now. This is also Friday in the Muslim world, so this is a day of prayer, so they'll be taking time out, I'm sure, in the middle of the day for prayers in Kandahar.

But as I said in the very beginning, this is quite possibly not the last time that a delegation will go in. This is a midlevel delegation of religious clerics, primarily, going in basically to have a talk with the Taliban and try to convince them to follow basically what the religious clerics said a week ago in their big meeting in Kabul that Osama bin Laden's welcome has been worn out, it's time to leave the country. Now in the Western world that kind of statement may be seen as an advice or a recommendation, but those who live here say it's much stronger. To say that it's time for someone to leave as a guest, it's a very, very strong statement here. And we heard the Foreign Minister yesterday saying don't underestimate the diplomatic pressure that's being put on Osama bin Laden.

So we're seeing another delegation going in, spending the day. They're scheduled to come back tonight, but they may indeed stay through end of the weekend. But as it stands right now, the delegation is expected to come back here on Friday night -- Carol.

LIN: All right, Tom. But in the meantime, didn't the Taliban say that it did deliver a message to Osama bin Laden?

MINTIER: That is the word we have from our Taliban sources that indeed the message was delivered from Mullah Omar, that the message was conveyed directly to Osama bin Laden, which may seem to indicate, if indeed that is true, that he is still in Afghanistan because it would be very difficult to take that message somewhere else. So a lot of smoke and mirrors going on as far as whether the message was delivered, whether they could find him or not. They now say eventually they did find him, they did deliver the message, now just waiting to see what he responds to that message.

LIN: And you're saying that we may not know this until the end of the weekend then? I'm sorry, the end -- the message that the delegation...

MINTIER: Well it's quite possible the delegation will come back late.

LIN: All right, indeed. Thank you very much.

MINTIER: Yes, I would doubt -- I would doubt that the delegation will bring back that word.

LIN: Got you. No, I think what I was asking was that we're not going to hear the results of this meeting between the delegation and the Taliban probably until the end of the weekend, it sounds like what you're saying?

Got you.

MINTIER: That's correct, Carol.

LIN: All right, thank you very much. Tom Mintier reporting live from Islamabad.

LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Dealing with that satellite delay. That kind of thing happens a lot with us.

LIN: Didn't mean to make it more confusing, I just wanted to get a timetable on this meeting.

HARRIS: Exactly. I'm with you.

LIN: Yes.

HARRIS: I'm with you.

LIN: OK.

HARRIS: All right.

LIN: I'm sure glad, too.

HARRIS: OK.

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