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December 20, 2001
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Pak must bring Taliban, Al Qaeda terrorists to justice: Dobbins

United States special envoy to Afghanistan James Dobbins on Wednesday said Pakistan has to take the responsibility of bringing to justice Al Qaeda terrorists and Taliban militiamen who have crossed over to that country.

Asked whether the US would chase these terrorists into Pakistan, he said, "Pakistan would take responsibility for rounding them up and hand them over to Afghanistan, US or whichever country they belonged to."

About the possibility of terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden and Taliban commander Mullah Omar having sneaked into Pakistan, Dobbins said he did not have any specific information on this.

"But I wouldn't rule out anything at this stage," he said.

Dobbins, who arrived from Pakistan, held extensive discussions with Indian leaders on the evolving situation in Afghanistan.

He called on External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh and held extensive consultations with National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra, Foreign Secretary Chokila Iyer and his Indian counterpart S K Lambah.

The focus of the discussions was on the post-Bonn situation in Afghanistan, where an interim government will take control on December 22, an external affairs ministry spokesperson told reporters.

Asked whether New Delhi shared the view that the Northern Alliance will cease to exist when the interim administration takes over, she said the new interim administration included United Front and Pushtoon personalities and other members of the ethnic groups.

The American special envoy also spoke of lifting of UN sanctions against Afghanistan, imposed on the ousted Taliban regime, as soon as the new administration assumes office.

Asked about India getting access to activists of Jaish-e-Mohammed and other Pakistan-based terrorist outfits reported to be in custody of the Northern Alliance forces, he said with the close relations New Delhi enjoyed with Kabul, any such request would be complied with.

Dobbins said the US intended to stay in Afghanistan and support the new interim administration and the subsequent government as part of its long-term commitment to play an appropriate part in the overall efforts of the international community in the transition from war to peace.

America's War on Terror: The Complete Coverage
The Attack on US Cities: The Complete Coverage

The Terrorism Weblog: Latest Stories from Around the World

External Link:
For further coverage, please visit www.saja.org/roundupsept11.html

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