Afghan Opposition Welcomes Anti-Taliban UN Sanctions
Afghanistan's armed opposition Friday welcomed the United Nations' tougher anti-Taliban sanctions but warned that neighboring Pakistan would try to undermine them.
"Their effectiveness is subject to their full realization. They should not remain symbolic," senior opposition spokesman Abdullah said.
"Sanctions against the Taliban are the only way to make them bow to the demands of the Afghan people and the international community."
Despite neighboring Pakistan's pledge to abide by the sanctions, he said Islamabad had no intention to implement them, particularly an arms embargo against the ruling Taliban militia.
Abdullah, who is also the opposition's acting foreign minister, claimed that Islamabad was already seeking loopholes to avoid compliance.
"They are difficult to implement if Pakistan is not complying," he said.
Abdullah accused Pakistan of stepping up its military supplies to the Taliban in the past month.
"Depots in Jalalabad and Kandahar are full of military supplies," he said.
Pakistan, the Taliban's principal supporter and one of only three countries that recognises its puritanical Islamic theocracy, has consistently denied providing it with military supplies.
The sanctions, designed to force the Taliban to hand over suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden and to shut alleged terrorist camps, also include the closure of the Taliban's overseas offices.
Its embassy in Islamabad, the only operating one in the world, was open Friday as the deadline for the Taliban to comply with the UN's demands expired and the sanctions took effect.
Pakistan Foreign Office Additional Secretary Aziz Ahmed Khan said the UN resolution "does not ask for the closure of the embassy."
"We will determine the level and size of the embassy as the resolution requires," he said.
Abdullah said the sanctions would help opposition commander Ahmad Shah Masood, himself accused of receiving military support from Russia and India -- KABUL (AFP)
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