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November 20, 2001
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Musharraf calls for humanitarian response to Taleban surrender offer

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf on Tuesday asked the United States, United Kingdom and United Nations to come out with a humanitarian response to the surrender offer of thousands of pro-Taleban fighters holed up in the northern Afghanistan city of Kunduz.

Musharraf on Monday spoke to British Prime Minister Tony Blair and US Secretary of State Colin Powell over the phone to discuss the plight of pro-Taleban militants, including about 3000 Arabs, Chechens and Pakistanis, an official statement said on Tuesday.

"The Government of Pakistan is requesting the UN to take cognisance of the threat of grave violations of international law by forces of Afghan factions and make efforts to prevent massacres such as those that took place in Mazar-e-Sharif and Herat earlier this month," it said.

Meanwhile, a spokesman of the US-led coalition forces Kenton Keith said the Northern Alliance forces have so far behaved with restraint.

Keith also said that the Taleban forces, including the foreign fighters holed up in the besieged Afghan town of Kunduz should surrender to the Northern Alliance troops.

"So far the opposition forces have behaved with restraint as the coalition forces had made efforts to convince the Alliance to give proper treatment to captured Taleban troops," he said. They know our concerns. On the face of it there is a possibility that the same thing will happen in Kunduz, he said.

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