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January 4, 2002
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Pak arrests former Taliban ambassador for overstaying

Pakistan has arrested former Taliban ambassador to Islamabad Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef on charges of overstaying in the country and shifted him to a Peshawar jail after turning down his request for asylum.

Zaeef was on Thursday picked up from his residence in Islamabad and later taken to Peshawar where he was handed over to the North West Frontier Province authorities for further action.

Zaeef's arrest comes amid reports that Afghan and United States forces have closed in on Taliban chief Mullah Mohammad Omar.

He had earlier applied for temporary asylum in Pakistan fearing arrest by Afghanistan's new regime, The News daily reported on Friday.

He was one of Omar's staunch supporters and remained steadfast in his loyalty to the militia leader, it said.

Islamabad had closed the Taliban's mission in November last year after the militia fell from power in Afghanistan.

Zaeef had also toyed with idea of floating a new organisation, which failed to take off, the report said.

PTI

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