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November 15, 2001
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Pakistan expecting fresh wave of refugees

Pakistan is bracing for a fresh influx of Afghan refugees after the Northern Alliance capture of Kabul.

Pakistan has also moved its scouts close to its border with war-torn Afghanistan to check the build up of refugees, SADA news agency reported.

The two countries share a 2,500 km long border.

The anti-Taleban Northern Alliance took over Afghan capital Kabul November 13, capturing most of the beleaguered nation as US bombers continued to pound Taleban bases.

Around two million Afghan refuges now live in Pakistan and the UN estimates around 1.5 million more would pour in due to the US strikes against the Taleban.

Major General Rashid Qureshi, presidential spokesman, said the situation along the eastern border with India was under control. He said Pakistan was in contact with the US, Britain, France and Turkey on the Afghan situation.

He added most nations supporting the US strikes and the UN agreed on the formation of a multi-ethnic, broad-based government in Afghanistan replacing the Taleban.

Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar, Foreign Secretary Inamul Haq, Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Aziz Khan, the naval and air chiefs and other senior military officials attended the meeting.

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