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November 8, 2001
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Pakistan orders Taleban to close Karachi consulate: Report

Pakistan has asked Afghanistan's Taleban regime to close its consulate in the southern Pakistani port city of Karachi, the Afghan Islamic Press reported on Thursday.

The AIP quoting Taleban sources said the Pakistan government conveyed its decision on Wednesday and the consulate had started preparations to close.

But, another agency report quoting an aide to the Karachi-based Taleban consul Rehmatullah Kakzada said there had been no such order, only a request that Kakzada cease addressing anti-US protest rallies and other public gatherings.

Kakzada has been a prominent speaker at demonstrations by local pro-Taleban religious groups opposed to Pakistan's support for the US-led military campaign against the Afghan fundamentalist militia.

Pakistan is the only country that recognises the Taleban government and maintains formal diplomatic relations.

The Taleban's embassy in Islamabad and consulates in Karachi, Quetta and Peshawar are the Islamic regime's only official diplomatic offices in the world.

Pakistan had, earlier, also moved to stop Taleban Ambassador Abdul Salam Zaeef holding press conferences and had warned him about making inflammatory comments against the United States.

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