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December 10, 2001
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Pakistani armymen in Afghanistan to be hauled up

Unwilling to forget Islamabad's close support to the Taliban in fighting the Northern Alliance, the new Afghan regime appears to be against letting off Pakistani Army regulars captured in the bitter fight in Afghanistan where they fought alongside the militia.

"We have arrested foreigners in the country and action will be taken against them," visiting Afghan Interior Minister Younous Qanooni said.

Over 5,000 Pakistani Army personnel and mercenaries are said to be still in Afghanistan.

He was responding to a question on how the new interim administration proposed to deal with the Pakistani armymen and mercenaries.

Qanooni, who met Home Minister L K Advani and External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh during his extended stay in India, asserted that Pakistan's interference in Afghanistan had led to the present situation and asked Islamabad to review its Afghan strategy.

The minister, who met a group of Hindu and Sikh Afghan refugees at the Afghan Embassy in New Delhi, stressed that the new regime in Kabul wanted to have good relations with Pakistan, but made it clear that Islamabad would have to change its policy for this to happen.

PTI

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