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Afghanistan: Pakistani Envoy Carries Message To Central Asian States

Islamabad, Brussels; 7 October 1996 (RFE/RL) -- Pakistan has dispatched a special envoy to Central Asia to discuss developments in Afghanistan. Pakistani reports say the envoy is carrying a message from Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto on ways to promote peace and regional stability to the leaders of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Reports have linked Pakistan and Saudi Arabia with support of Taleban Islamic forces, but Pakistan denies the charges and has called for talks among Afghanistan's warring factions.

At a Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) summit in Almaty on Friday, Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan said they would take appropriate actions to defend their interests if Taleban forces threatened Central Asia.

In Brussels yesterday, Russia's Security Council Secretary Aleksandr Lebed said fighting in Afghanistan could have "great negative consequences," and again asserted that Taliban forces have territorial aspirations in Central Asia. Lebed said Taliban forces could join forces with Tajik opposition leader Said Abdullo Nuri to menace Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.