The Northern Alliance's military command is ready to provide a safety corridor to "Afghan Talibs" only, that is to local self-defence units encircled in Kunduz, administrative centre of Kunduz province neighbouring Tajikistan, according to a diplomatic source in the Tajik capital city. Agreement to open the corridor for the "local Talibs" has been reached by Northern Alliance General Daud Khan and a Taliban field commander, Mullah Dadullah. The Afghan Talibs who have given in arms can go back to their homes, said a source. The rest of Taliban fighters, including foreign mercenaries, blockaded in Kunduz, are going to be destroyed in an attack on the city. Pakistan is voicing concern about its residents' destiny - volunteers from religious parties and groupings who had joined the Taliban and now are blockaded in Afghanistan's north. In various estimates, trapped in Kunduz are 10 to 20 thousand fundamentalists, with the Pakistanis making a considerable part of them. Pakistani President Perwez Musharraf discussed the problem in telephone conferences with British Premier Tony Blair and US Secretary of State Colin Powell.
Several years ago, a prominent Indonesian businessman who now resides in Canada, insisted on meeting me in a back room of one of Jakarta's posh restaurants. An avid reader of mine, he 'had something urgent to tell me', after finding out that our paths were going to be crossing in this destroyed and hopelessly polluted Indonesian capital.