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TOI: Taliban not terrorists: Pakistan
By TimesIndia

17/10/2001 11:17 am Wed

[Kalau begitu Amerika yang menjadi penganasnya? - Mat Teropong

Rencana ini pendek tapi dalam maknanya. Pakistan sudah lama 'berbaik' dengan Taliban dan amat bimbang jika A.S. gagal menamatkan peperangan secepat mungkin. Malah makin risau lagi Taleban mampu bertahan ataupun menang kerana Pakistan mungkin akan menjadi sasaran. Pakistan lebih senang berjiran dengan Taleban daripada pasukan baru(a) Northern Alliance yang memang terbukti amat ganas dan sering melakukan jenayah yang mengerikan. Soalnya mengapa Pakistan kini sanggup berkawan dan lebih mempercayai golongan bukan Islam yang memang tidak boleh diharapkan? Ia nampaknya lebih takutkan Amerika daripada tuhan... padahal tuhanlah yang lebih berkuasa sehingga ada peluru berpandu yang gagal meledak bila tiba di sasaran.
- Editor

Taliban not terrorists: Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Taking a firm stance in the international fight against terrorism, Pakistan on Monday said it does not acknowledge Taliban as a terrorist organisation.

Foreign ministry spokesman Riaz Mohammad Khan said that the Taliban authorities in Afghanistan were not "terrorists."

"The Taliban are not terrorists. We never regarded them as terrorists," he told a press conference hours before the arrival of US Secretary of State Colin Powell for talks on the US military campaign in Afghanistan.
( AFP ) WIRE: 10/15/2001 9:19 am ET

Pakistan Says Afghan Taliban Not Terrorists

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (Reuters) - Pakistan said Monday it did not regard Afghanistan's ruling Taliban as terrorists and wanted to see a short war waged by the United States in its hunt for Saudi-born fugitive Osama bin Laden hiding there.

The duration of the current U.S.-led military strikes on Afghanistan would be discussed with Secretary of State Colin Powell, who was due to arrive in Islamabad later in the day, a Foreign Ministry spokesman told a news conference.

Asked if Pakistan considered the Taliban to be terrorists, spokesman Riaz Mohammad Khan said: "No, Taliban are not terrorists. We never regarded them as terrorists."

He said he hoped the war against bin Laden and his Taliban protectors would be short.

"Prolongation of military operations will be a source of concern to us," the spokesman said.

"Because with prolongation you can expect mishaps in which innocent civilian lives can be lost," he said, adding that this would be discussed when Powell meets Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar.

"I am sure they will be very detailed meetings," he added.

Khan said Pakistan had been grieved by civilian casualties caused by military strikes on Afghanistan and had noted American regrets over such deaths.

"We will again emphasize that the targets should be clearly focused to avoid civilian casualties," he said.

Khan said Pakistan desired that the military operations in Afghanistan "should be short and should not prolong beyond what is necessary."

But he said it was for America to determine what the necessary limit was for such operations.


Khan denied that President Musharraf had said in an interview published in the United States Monday that he would advise Washington first to "take out" Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar before turning its attentions to bin Laden.

"The president had not granted any such interview," he said, adding that "no such comments were made."

"Get Mullah Omar and Osama won't be able to operate. He'll be on the run," Musharraf was quoted as telling USA Today and CBS radio in a joint interview.

"You must take out the center of gravity," Musharraf was quoted as saying of the Taliban's spiritual leader. "That's what I would do if I were running this campaign."

An executive editor at CBS radio news in New York said the station stood by its report.

"It wasn't a formal interview but it was on the record. It lasted about an hour," Mike Donahue told Reuters.

USA Today also stood by the interview.

"We stand by our story, and the interview took place," said USA Today World Editor Elisa Tinsley. She said USA Today had a photograph of reporter Jack Kelley with Musharraf that was taken Friday, the day of the interview.

Musharraf, whose country is the only nation that still has diplomatic links with the Taliban, has walked a delicate line between support for the U.S.-led military campaign against terrorism and opposition at home to attacks on a fellow Muslim neighbor.