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Afghanistan: Karzai Calls For New National Army

Kabul, 9 January 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Afghanistan's interim Prime Minister Hamid Karzai made his first televised address to the nation today, calling for a new national army and economic reforms. Karzai pledged to control inflation, ease unemployment, and promote industry and foreign investment. He also said the government will stop the printing of unsupported Afghani banknotes.

A few hours earlier, Interior Minister Yunis Qanuni said he ordered all armed men in Kabul, except official security forces, to leave the capital and return to their bases.

Also today, several former senior Taliban officials surrendered to the new Afghan government and were allowed to go free.