Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf was the first of the world leaders to congratulate by telephone the new head of the provisional Afghan administration (Prime Minister), Khamid Karzai, on his election to this post. According to the data of the newspaper The News, this conversation took place late in the evening on Thursday, December 6. Pervez Musharraf announced that after Karzai would take office on December 22, Pakistan would officially recognise a new government of Afghanistan. Islamabad never recognised the government of the Islamic State of Afghanistan and its head Burhanuddin Rabbani, and maintained diplomatic relations with the Taliban, just as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Three weeks ago Pakistan severed all relations with the fundamentalists and closed all its diplomatic missions, including its embassy in Islamabad. On his part, Khamid Karzai expressed gratitude to Pakistan for its care of three million Afghan refugees now living in that country. The new Afghan leader believes that the Pakistanis who fought on the side of the Taliban (a majority of them are ethnic Pashtoons who live in the so-called area of independent pushtu tribes, bordering on Afghanistan, which became part of British India at the end of the 19th century at the time of Emir Abdurrahman Khan - Ed.) must return home unhindered, while other foreigners - Arabs and Chechens - are regarded by him as terrorists who must be punished accordingly.
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