President of Pakistan General Pervez Musharraf for the first time stated the necessity of acknowledgement by Islamabad of the Northern Alliance and of all the groupings which form part of it. The taking of Kabul by the Northern Alliance detachments "does not pose a threat to Pakistan's security", the Pakistani leader stressed speaking by national TV on Monday night. Musharraf also expressed support for the UN efforts to set up in Afghanistan a government of wide popular representation which, in his opinion, will certainly be friendly to Islamabad. In the Pakistani leader's opinion, it is simply impossible to impose any government from outside on the freedom-loving and proud Afghans. They simply must decide their future themselves, while the international community must in every way help them make their choice. Pervez Musharraf also believes that it would be wrong to identify all Pashtoons with the Taliban. He holds the view that most of Pashtoons have never been supporters of the Taliban, and in the Taliban leadership there are moderate leaders who can quite well participate in the future political development. According to the information of the News newspaper, Islamabad is now establishing contacts with the Northern Alliance and even sent its emissaries to Rabbani and to General Dostum.
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Rescuers found the pilot of one of the two Su-34 fighters that had collided in midair in the Far East on January 18