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Tuesday, 30 October, 2001, 13:21 GMT
UN and Pakistan map Afghan future
Ruined houses in Afghanistan
Rebuilding Afghanistan will not be easy
UN special envoy to Afghanistan, Lakhdar Brahimi, has agreed with Pakistan's ruler Pervez Musharraf that any post-Taleban government must have broad support inside the country.

The two men, who met in Pakistan's capital Islamabad, also agreed that Afghanistan's future governments must not let its territory become a base for hostile acts.

The future government will maintain friendly relations with all its neighbours

UN spokesman Eric Falt

UN spokesman Eric Falt told Reuters news agency that the two men had an "in-depth discussion" about the Afghan conflict and agreed on the basic principles of Afghanistan's future.

"The future government will maintain friendly relations with all its neighbours and will not allow its territory to be used for hostile acts against its neighbours or anyone else," Mr Falt quoted the two men as agreeing.


The meeting comes amid growing concern at the difficulty of forming a cohesive post-Taleban government acceptable to other countries in the region.

Lakhdar Brahimi
Mr Brahimi is due to go on to Iran for talks

Pakistan's insistence that some members of the Taleban should be included in any future Afghan administration is fiercely opposed by Russia, which backs the opposition Northern Alliance.

Mr Falt also said that Mullah Abdul Zaeef, the Taleban's ambassador to Pakistan, had asked to meet Mr Brahimi.

It was not clear if a meeting would take place.

But the request marks a change in policy by the Taleban, who have boycotted UN peacekeeping moves since UN sanctions were imposed on Afghanistan earlier this year.

Mr Brahimi, a career diplomat, first became UN envoy for Afghanistan in 1997.

Civil war

He was charged with preventing civil war and trying to persuade its six neighbouring states to help in the development of a workable form of government if the Taleban were toppled.

However, he resigned in 1999 citing continued frustration that the fighting between the Taleban and other warring factions had not ended.

Correspondents say that building a broad-based government inside Afghanistan will not be easy.

Pakistan has said it wants any future Afghan government to include representatives from the dominant Pashtun tribe, the Taleban's support base and a major group in Pakistan as well.

But the opposition Northern Alliance is based on ethnic minorities including Uzbeks, Tajiks and Hazaras.

The growing unpopularity of the American bombing of Afghanistan was reflected in comments on Tuesday by Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz.

"We would like [the US campaign] to be concluded sooner than later", he told an economic summit in Hong Kong.

And he rejected attempts to impose any future government on Afghanistan.

"The people of Afghanistan have to decide what the political future of the government will be," he said.

The BBC's Susannah Price in Islamabad
"There have been a lot of divisions"
See also:

25 Oct 01 | UK Politics
UK appoints envoy to North Afghanistan
24 Oct 01 | South Asia
Eyewitness: A bid for Afghan unity
22 Oct 01 | South Asia
Analysis: The world's plans for Afghans
19 Sep 01 | South Asia
Afghanistan's Northern Alliance
11 Oct 01 | South Asia
UN's new peacemaker
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