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Indians Found Fighting for Taliban



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Indian POWs in Afghanistaní  - The Hindustan Times (India)

A leading Russian daily has reported the presence of Indians among prisoners
of war (POWs) taken by Afghanistan's anti-Taliban Northern Alliance.

An Izvestia report suggests that some Indians are fighting alongside the
Taliban troops against the Northern Alliance led by Ahmed Shah Masood.

It says Izvestia correspondents visited the POWs held by the Northern
Alliance and spotted Pakistanis and Indians among them.

It mentions the case of a 21-year-old prisoner of Pakistani origin who
studied in a Muslim seminary in Afghanistan.

Quoting United Nations data, the report says there are many such seminars in
Pakistan and Afghanistan providing religious education to about 200,000
fundamentalist Muslims from many countries.

Students completing their studies in such schools usually join the Taliban
troops, it adds.

The report says that most of the POWs are ethnic Tajiks, Uzbeks, and
Hazarians.

The captives from Pakistan and India are "VIPs" as the Northern Alliance
regards them as precious evidence to prove before the UN that the
Taliban-led war in Afghanistan is an international aggression.

There are fears that the wave of religious extremism and terrorism wrapped
under Muslim values will spread from Pakistan and Taliban-controlled
Afghanistan to other parts of the world because of the UN's passive
attitude, the paper notes.

This is not the first time that a report has suggested the presence of
Indians among Taliban fighters. A few months ago the Tajik national security
secretary was quoted by news agencies as saying that some Indians too were
fighting alongside Taliban troops.

Diplomatic sources here, however, do not rule out the possibility of
Pakistani nationals among the POWs claiming to be Indian so as to receive
clemency.



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