Tags: Pakistani | Team | Kandahar | Seek | bin | Laden

Pakistani Team in Kandahar to Seek bin Laden

Friday, 28 September 2001 12:00 AM

"The delegation, comprising 10 Pakistani clerics and senior civil and military official, is now in Kandahar, Afghanistan, awaiting a meeting with the supreme leader (Mullah Mohammed Omar)," a Pakistani official told United Press International.

"The leader (Omar) has agreed to receive him," said Suhail Shaheen, the Taliban deputy ambassador in Islamabad.

The delegation was originally scheduled to leave for Kandahar early Friday and returned the same evening. However, their departure was delayed by several hours as Islamabad waited for an official invitation from the Taliban.

Pakistan announced on Thursday that it was sending a delegation of 10 religious scholars and government officials to persuade the Taliban leaders to expel bin Laden and other suspected terrorists to avoid an anticipated U.S. military strike against Afghanistan.

Declaring bin Laden the No. 1 suspect as the mastermind in the Sept. 11 terror attacks on New York and Washington, the United States has urged the Taliban to expel him and other members of his al Qaida organization and close suspected terrorist bases in Afghanistan or face a U.S. military strike.

Pakistan had sent a similar delegation to Afghanistan soon after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, but the group failed in its efforts to persuade the Taliban to hand over bin Laden.

"We decided to send another delegation because we are well-wishers of the Afghan people. We do not want them to suffer the destructions of yet another war," said a Pakistani official.

The Taliban, however, seem more interested in another delegation that a Pakistani religious alliance, opposed to the Pakistani government's decision to back the U.S.-led campaign against terrorism, is sending.

The delegation will involve several religious scholars leading a pro-Taliban campaign in Pakistan. The government had offered a plane to them for traveling to Kandahar, but they rejected the offer and said they would travel by road.

Copyright 2001 by United Press International. All rights reserved.

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The delegation, comprising 10 Pakistani clerics and senior civil and military official, is now in Kandahar, Afghanistan, awaiting a meeting with the supreme leader (Mullah Mohammed Omar), a Pakistani official told United Press International. The leader (Omar) has agreed...
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2001-00-28
Friday, 28 September 2001 12:00 AM
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