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Karzai Wants Pakistan To Take Action On Taliban --> Hamid Karzai (left) with Pakistani President Musharraf in Islamabad on 15 February (epa) 19 February 2006 -- Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai has said he expects Islamabad to take action on a list of names and addresses of Taliban militants that he presented Pakistani authorities during a visit this week.

Karzai said on 18 February that the list contained detailed information about members of the ousted militia believed to be living in Pakistan. He declined to say how many names were on the list.

Aghan officials say Pakistani-based Taliban leaders are responsible for the insurgency in their country. They also accuse Islamabad of condoning the activities of Taliban militants and some Pakistani circles of funding Islamic radicals behind the four-year insurgency. Pakistan denies the charges.


Helmand Province Governor Comments

U.S. Marines operating in Helmand Province in 2002 (epa)

RULING A RESTIVE LAND: On February 12, RFE/RL Radio Free Afghanistan correspondent Jawaid Wafa spoke briefly with Helmand Province Governor MOHAMMAD DAOUD about the ongoing violence in his restive region on the border with Pakistan.

RFE/RL: Recently, there have been many clashes and attacks by insurgents in Helmand Province. What in your view facilitates these attacks, especially in Helmand?

Mohammad Daoud: This province has a 160-kilometer border with Pakistan's Baluchistan Province. In reality, armed people, armed terrorists, from the other side of the border cross the border into Helmand. They carry out attacks and return back. It is a serious problem in Helmand that within our borders there is neither tribal good will, nor are there are special military or security measures to prevent enemies from crossing back and forth.

RFE/RL: The attacks and clashes have not only been between government forces and insurgents. There have been various clashes in different parts of Helmand between police and purported drug smugglers. How do you explain this?

Daoud: Drug smugglers also use the border for their own purposes. They have opened markets on the border and process opium there. This is a serious problem along our border. We are in touch with our authorities on this problem.

RFE/RL: There are government border police patrol your border. What is their role in preventing illegal crossings?

Daoud: Along this 160-kilometer border, there are car routes, walking routes. We have border police, but unfortunately, either because of their own problems or because of weak administration, they have not been able to stop the crossing.


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