Russia may initiate sanctions against Pakistan
Russia and France have prepared materials in which Pakistan is accused of a direct backing of the Taliban Islamic Movement in its standoff against the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan. Russia is reportedly planning to persuade other US Security Council members to impose sanctions on Pakistan, The New York Times reports citing sources in the UNO. The Moscow initiative is expected to be put forward following 2 series of UN sanctions against Taliban. In the meantime, there are signs that Pakistan may be going to change its stance towards Taliban and withdraw its original support for the extremists. The point is that a mounting flow of refugees from the Taliban-controlled Afghanistan has considerably complicated the humanitarian situation in Pakistan. Pakistan itself keeps on formally denying rendering assistance to Taliban. Even if such an assistance is rendered, it is still unclear whether it comes from the Pakistani government headed by General Pervez Musharraf or from the country’s radicals uncontrolled by the government. Anyway, Russian officials have not yet confirmed the information given by The New York Times.