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Prominent Afghans Meeting to Discuss Post-Taliban Government

Aired October 24, 2001 - 06:24   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Well as the U.S. bombs Taliban targets in Afghanistan, prominent Afghans are meeting in Pakistan to discuss a new post-Taliban government.

Our senior international correspondent Walter Rodgers has the latest on that from Islamabad. He checks in now live.

Hello, Walt.

WALTER RODGERS, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We've heard much about what comes next in Afghanistan after the Taliban falls or is driven from power, what kind of government will follow? There is a hopeful answer to that today, an Afghan tribal meeting, a loyajurga (ph), in Peshawar, Pakistan. That's going on at this hour. Some nine tribal chieftains and 200 other individuals gathered there but so far rather than discussing a broadly based post-Taliban government, what we are hearing out of there is that there have been a string of denunciations of the Taliban stewardship of Afghanistan over the past four or so years.

Now most discouraging in this meeting so far is there has been no moderate Taliban representation that we know of. Also, no representation by the Northern Alliance, the anti-Taliban forces there. The problem, of course, is that if you're going to build a broadly based government in Afghanistan, you have to have representation of these two groups. Nonetheless, this Afghan Tribal Council in Peshawar, Pakistan has been welcomed by the Pakistani Foreign Ministry who sees it as a hopeful sign for the future.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RIAZ MOHAMMED KHAN, PAKISTANI FOREIGN MINISTRY: This is an effort by the (INAUDIBLE) themselves and any initiative, any effort which can lead to the formation of a broad based government in Afghanistan would be very welcome from Pakistan's point of view because this is something that we have always been supporting. So we hope that there is success and political process can also help in bringing to an earlier end to the military operations.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RODGERS: Meanwhile, U.S. air strikes continue over Afghanistan and there are new concerns, at least in the United States, that the Taliban may be seeking shelter in residential neighborhoods trying to hide from those U.S. air strikes.

Back to you.

HARRIS: Walter Rodgers, reporting live for us from Islamabad, Pakistan, thank you very much. We'll get back to you later on.

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