Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Pakistan Braces for Refugees

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Pakistan Braces for Refugees

Article excerpt

With small but boisterous protests around the country, Pakistan again reaffirmed its promise of support yesterday for the expected US military assault against Afghanistan's ruling Taliban.

Pakistan has closed its borders with Afghanistan, allowing only food trucks and Afghans with valid Pakistani visas to cross. Meanwhile, a Pakistani delegation to Taliban leaders, led by Pakistan spy-agency chief Lt. Gen. Mahmoud Ahmed, was expected home late last night.

"The purpose of the visit was not negotiation, but to impress on the Afghan leadership the gravity of the situation," said Foreign Office spokesman Muhammad Riaz Khan, who refused to divulge any specific details.

"There is no question of punishing people," he added, when asked about the possible human toll of a US-led military attack on Afghanistan. "The question is tracking down and punishing the perpetrators of the terrible crime which took place in New York and Washington."

Pakistan is bracing for hundreds of thousands refugees from Afghanistan expected to spill across the porous 1,500-mile border. …

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