November 1999 News

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UN ignores Taliban plea, imposes curbs

14 November 1999
The Hindustan Times

Kabul (Agencies): The United Nations ignored last-minute pleas from Afghanistan's Taliban army and imposed sanctions today to demand the arrest of suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden.

The UN sanctions against Afghanistan came into force at the stroke of 0500 GMT (1030 IST) today or midnight eastern standard time in the United States. The Security Council did not consider a postponement which was sought by Kabul. The UN is demanding bin Laden be handed over to the United States or a third country to stand trial on charges he masterminded last year's twin bombings of US embassies in East Africa.

The sanctions were imposed by the Security Council on October 15, with a 30-day deadline for compliance.

Council president Danilo Turk of Slovenia told reporters on Friday: "The sanctions will go into effect automatically".

He said he had heard various reports of Taliban proposals aimed at forestalling the sanctions, but "nothing of the character which would require the matter to be brought before the Council for consideration". Taliban Foreign Minister Wakil Ahmad Muttawakil, in an interview with Reuters in Kabul on Saturday, issued a last-minute appeal to the United Nations to delay or scrap the sanctions and renewed an offer to talk with Washington.

But Muttawakil reiterated that his government would not hand over Bin Laden to the United States against his will.

The only exceptions to the sanctions are humanitarian flights, including those carrying religious pilgrims, authorised in advance by a watchdog sanctions committee to be set up by the Council.

All countries must also freeze funds and other financial resources owned or controlled by the Taliban, except for any that the sanctions committee exempt on humanitarian grounds.

Islamabad: An FBI team from United States is reaching here to probe into Friday's multiple rocket attacks on US and UN establishments here, even as Pakistani investigators remained clueless about the attacks despite arresting five Afghan refugees in this connection.

In Bangladesh, the AFP office received a call from a caller claiming to be from an Afghan-based Islamic militant group named "Al-jihad" who said his organisation fired six rockets at US and UN buildings in Islamabad.

The FBI team, will interact with Pakistani army and police experts as well as the bomb disposal squad to find a clue behind the attacks in which one security guard at the American Centre was injured and a number of vehicles destroyed, The Nation said quoting sources.

Meanwhile, the local police has constituted a joint investigation team to examine the attacks but, was yet to come out with any definite evidence about the attack which took place only two days before the UN sanctions sponsored by the United States on Afghanistan was to begin.

Police, however, has rounded up five Afghan refugees from different parts of Islamabad and is interrogating them in a bid to reach to some conclusion, the largest circulated Urdu daily Jung said quoting police sources.


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