In the mountains near Kabul and the Baghram air base the forces of the Northern Alliance have arrested several hundred Pakistani "volunteers" who fought on the side of the Taliban, the newspaper Pakistan Observer reported on Friday. The Pakistanis, activists of the religious party Tehrik Nifaz Shariat-e-Mohammadi (TNSM), had hidden themselves in caves. During the arrest they laid down a great number of weapons and munitions. According to the newspaper, they had come to the assistance of their Afghan brothers (Talibs) at the call of TNSM leader Sufi Mohammad. When the Talibs left Kabul and retreated to Kandahar, they simply left their Pakistani "assistants" to the mercy of fate. The organiser of the action - Sufi Mohammad - is now in the Pakistani prison. He was arrested on returning home together with a small group of his followers. Currently several thousand Pakistani are fighting on the side of the Taliban, also in besieged Kunduz on the border with Tajikistan, asserts the Pakistan Observer. Islamabad is very much concerned about the fate of its citizens and takes all possible diplomatic steps to save them. The soldiers of the Northern Alliance are rather loyal to Talibs-Afghans and sometimes let the surrendered ones go home. But foreigners - Pakistanis, Chechens and Arabs - may be shot, the newspaper says. In Mazar-i-Sharif, for example, according to some data, hundreds of Pakistanis, who hid themselves in a local madrasah, were executed.
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