Afghanistan: April 2, 2002


Tajik (Northern Alliance) and Pushtun factions continue to struggle with each other behind the scenes. There is still a lot of support for Islamic fundamentalism among Pushtuns. The other ethnic groups, especially the Tajiks, have always feared the Pushtun religious attitudes, and after the Taliban, there is fear that the Pushtun religious fanatics are looking for a way to make a comeback. One of the wild cards here is Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, one of the Pushtun warlords from the 1980s and 90s. Driven into exile in Ran after the Taliban showed up, Hekmatyar still has a lot of supporters among the Pushtun tribes. Hekmatyar has been asked to leave Iran by the Iranian government and his present location is unknown. Hekmatyar doesn't like non-Moslems. He didn't get along with the Taliban because Hekmatyar's troops had committed too many atrocities, and the Taliban already had leaders and didn't need Hekmatyar. Afghanistan still doesn't need him, but Hekmatyar is the only major Afghan leader still out there who is willing to use violence against the interim government.

Coalition troops have found large (tons of stuff) arms and munition caches in caves near Kandahar and in eastern Afghanistan (Paktia province.)

Pakistan and Afghanistan have agreed to cooperate in destroying terrorist camps and sanctuaries along their common border. But Pakistan still refuses to all American, or other coalition troops move from Afghanistan into Pakistan to chase al Qaeda or Taliban members.




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