Dmitry Litvinovich: Kabul has been taken, but the war is not over yet

Northern Alliance troops have entered Kabul. The pro-Taliban agency Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) in Pakistan has confirmed the fact that Kabul yielded to the forces of the Afghan opposition.

The advanced detachment of the Afghan army entered the capital of Afghanistan this morning. There were neither civilians in the streets of the city nor the Taliban. Most likely, they left the city late at night.

As one of the commanders of the opposition said, the basic forces of the Northern Alliance were still taking the positions several kilometers from Kabul; they were waiting for instructions from Washington. The military units were sent to the capital to evaluate the situation and to prevent the looting and root out the sources of the Taliban resistance. “We have simply sent the police to Kabul,” – the leader of the Afghan opposition stressed. The BBC also confirmed the information about the taking of Kabul. A BBC correspondent informed that there were big crowds of people in several areas of the capital rejoicing the victory of the opposition forces. Another correspondent saw the military columns and hardware of the Taliban movement headed in the southwestern direction towards Kandagar. That correspondent stated that the Taliban had left the city. Right around the same time, the world powers were discussing the fate of Afghanistan in New York. Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary General, stated on Monday that the UN is supposed to act fast in order to bring the political situation in Afghanistan in compliance with the development of the events in the military field.

The so-called Six-plus-Two committee will play the key role in the establishment of the new Kabul government. This committee consists of China, Pakistan, Iran, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Russia, and the USA. These countries are intended to set forth their joint statement, although they could not come to a common conclusion before.

Each of the parties has its own point of view pertaining to the future Afghan government. The US, Great Britain, and France are counting on ex-king Zahir-Shah. Iran is not so enthusiastic towards Zahir Shah; this country would like to see the government of the Afghani technocrats under a UN aegis.

Pakistan, the main supporter of the Taliban, believes that any Afghan government needs to reflect the fact that the majority of the population of the country comes from the Pashtun tribe.

Saudi Arabia also put forward its suggestion regarding the future of Afghanistan. There are also opinions in New York that do not support the idea of the Six-plus-Two group to determining the future of the country. The people with such opinions stand for a wider forum with the participation of EU spokesmen.

Russia totally rejects the Taliban's presence in the future government and is rather sceptic towards Zahir Shah. Most likely, Russia will prefer to count on the Northern Alliance and total control on the part of the UN. Former Soviet republics are sustaining a pause, but their decision will most likely be similar to Russia’s.

Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru

Reuters photo: Northern Alliance fighters sing patriotic songs as they enter the Afghan capital Kabul November 13, 2001

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