UP To 3,000 Pakistani "volunteers" Still In Afghanistan

Out of 8,000 Pakistani "volunteers," who went to Afghanistan in November heeding the call of their religious leaders to fight on the Taliban side, about 3,000 are still in Afghanistan and their fate is not known. Over 300 men have been taken prisoner near Jalalabad. This was said to the newspaper Dawn by a spokesman for the fundamentalist organisation Tehrik-i-Nafaz-i-Shariat-i-Muhammadi (TNSM). According to him, Hazrat Aki, police and security chief of the Nangarhar province, which neighbours Pakistan, has promised him in a telephone conversation that very soon all Pakistani prisoners of war will be sent home through the border check-point of Torkham. The Pakistani President's press secretary, Major General Rashid Kureshi, told reporters that "these people will be treated in accordance with law," since "Pakistan bans their citizens to cross the border with Afghanistan without appropriate documents." It is still unclear how many Pakistanis, who fought on the side of the Taliban, were killed and are in the Northern Alliance captivity. There were several thousand of them in Kunduz. Earlier reports told bout the shooting of the "foreigners" - Arabs, Chechens and Pakistanis - after the capture of Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif.

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