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November 15, 2001
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Bhutto welcomes fall of Kabul to Northern Alliance

Former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto has welcomed the fall of Kabul to the anti-Taleban Northern Alliance, SADA news agency reported.

At the same time, the Pakistan People's Party chairperson expressed the hope that the UN would assist Afghanistan, and the Northern Alliance would also reach out to Pushtoon Afghans.

In a statement issued by PPP, Bhutto said the PPP wanted the different groups in Afghanistan to come together to build the country and give its war-ravaged people hope for a better future.

The Northern Alliance is dominated by the minority Tajiks, Uzbeks and Hazaras, while the Pushtoon ethnic group constitutes 40 per cent of Afghanistan's 16 million population.

Bhutto said she was sorry to see Islamabad was unable to play a critical role in the change in Kabul, despite being a frontline state in the international coalition.

She said Islamabad seemed to have followed the strategy of buying time. This was a two-pronged strategy of insisting that a broad-based government be formed before the fall of Kabul and simultaneously promising an in-house Taleban revolt, she said.

"However, the military regime was unable to deliver as neither happened," she said.

The former premier said ultimately peace and stability in Afghanistan depended on Islamabad's sincerity to accept a broad-based government in Kabul.

Indo-Asian News Service

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

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