Any division of Afghanistan's territory and autonomous status of any of its parts will only further protract the civil war, said Pakistani Foreign Ministry Spokesman Riaz Muhammad Khan. Mr. Khan commented on the reports in some foreign and Pakistani media outlets that a government, which would operate along with the Taliban, is going to be established in the north of Afghanistan and that peacekeepers will enter the country's territory. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, who stopped briefly in Istanbul on his way to Paris, made a statement that his country will decisively oppose all proposals to divide Afghanistan. Simultaneously, the UN mission in Islamabad has disclosed a statement by UN General Secretary's Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, which stresses that no one pursues such goals. Mr. Brahimi has just completed his negotiations with the Iranian leadership and left for Rome, where he will meet former King of Afghanistan Zahir Shah. Before this, Mr. Brahimi spent a week in Islamabad and held consultations with representatives of various Afghan parties and groups, but refused to meet with the Taliban.
Rescuers found the pilot of one of the two Su-34 fighters that had collided in midair in the Far East on January 18