BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Urdu Hindi Pashto Bengali Tamil Nepali Sinhala
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: South Asia  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 16 October, 2002, 13:38 GMT 14:38 UK
Kabul's concern over Pakistani Islamists
Leaders of Pakistan's Islamist parties
Religious parties criticise Musharraf's US support


The Afghan president, Hamid Karzai is concerned the campaign to hunt down al-Qaeda and Taleban fighters could be affected following the success of a five-party Islamist alliance in Pakistan.


The influence (of Pakistan's Islamist alliance) would not be big enough to drastically alter the country's foreign policy and put it at odds with the US and the West.

President Karzai's government is apprehensive, saying the victory of the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA), a hardline Islamist alliance, in Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) and Balochistan bordering Afghanistan was a worrying development.

The concern is partly justified because the component parties of the Islamist alliance have been vocal supporters of the Taleban and Osama bin Laden.

They staged demonstrations in Pakistan last year to condemn the US military campaign in Afghanistan and show solidarity with the Taleban.

A number of Pakistanis who were killed or captured fighting alongside the Taleban in Afghanistan also owed allegiance to some of these Islamic parties.

Solidarity with Taleban

After winning assembly elections, leaders of the alliance were quick to reaffirm their admiration for the Taleban and to demand the closure of the US airbases in Pakistan.

However, the alliance will not be pleased with the statement issued by the Karzai government and its leadership may come up with a rebuttal.

One of the alliance leaders, Maulana Fazlur Rahman, said on Tuesday that the Karzai government was brought into power by force.

President Musharraf and Afghan leader Hamid Karzai
President Musharraf supported the rebuilding of Afghanistan.

Fazlur Rahman and other Islamist leaders in Pakistan have also been arguing that they want to bring about peaceful Islamic change through the ballot instead of using the gun as done by the Taleban.

Following the stunning electoral gains by the Islamic alliance, President Pervez Musharraf was quick to reassure the world that his country was still committed to fighting the war on terror.

President Musharraf, who has strengthened his presidential position through some controversial constitutional amendments, made it clear that policies created by his government over the past three years would stay in place.

No obstruction

Reports say the Islamabad government reassured Kabul there was no change to its Afghan policy despite the unprecedented victory of the Islamist alliance.

It was a clear indication as to how General Musharraf sees himself as an all-powerful president with a subservient prime minister.

Maulana Fazlur Rahman
Rahman says Karzai government was brought into power by force
If the Islamists were to form the government in the North-West Frontier Province and Balochistan, they would not be able to obstruct efforts to track down al-Qaeda and Taleban militants in places near the border with Afghanistan.

The anti-terror campaign is being managed by the Pakistan Army, the Frontier Corps and Frontier Constabulary militias, all federal government organisations, with almost no input by the provincial governments in the two provinces bordering Afghanistan.

Therefore, the Islamist alliance would be able to exert influence to change Pakistan's foreign and defence policies if it becomes part of a federal coalition government in Islamabad as a junior partner.

But the influence would not be big enough to drastically alter the country's foreign policy and put it at odds with the US and the West.


Rebuilding

Political uncertainty

Profiles

Issues

FACT FILE

IN DEPTH

FORUM

TALKING POINT
See also:

27 Aug 02 | South Asia
11 Apr 02 | South Asia
03 May 02 | South Asia
19 Aug 02 | South Asia
25 Aug 02 | South Asia
07 Oct 02 | South Asia
07 Oct 02 | South Asia
29 Sep 02 | South Asia
09 Oct 02 | Middle East
25 Jul 02 | South Asia
06 Oct 02 | South Asian Debates
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more South Asia stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more South Asia stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes