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Pak extends deadline for Al Qaeda, Taliban

K J M Varma in Islamabad | May 01, 2004 14:22 IST

Pakistan has extended by a week the deadline for amnesty to Al Qaeda and Taliban militants holed up in its tribal areas bordering Afghanistan after Friday's ultimatum to surrender or face military action passed without a single foreign militant turning up to lay down weapons.

The deadline has been extended by seven days to give another chance to the foreign militants, Pakistan's defence spokesman Shaukat Sultan said.

Security chief of Federally Administered Tribal Areas Mehmoos Shah said: "I think the foreign militants are reluctant to
surrender fearing their arrest or onward handing over to US."

Pakistan set the last deadline on April 24 when it granted amnesty to five local tribesmen accused of sheltering foreign fugitives, following a military offensive in March in the South Waziristan tribal region.

Reports from South Waziristan tribal agency bordering Afghanistan said a jirga (council of elders) will be held this weekend to explore ways to convince the foreign militants to surrender.


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