WASHINGTON, D.C.—Pakistan is reported to have closed its borders to more than 1 million Afghan refugees as General Musharraf struggles to quash armed uprisings by fundamentalist religious groups that back the Taliban. These groups are promising to join the Taliban to fight in the jihad and bring civil war to Pakistan. Police and army units have taken control of Islamabad and other Pakistan cities. Musharraf has placed one religious leader under house arrest and banned the carrying of weapons.
Meanwhile, within Afghanistan, Taliban leaders said they are dispatching 2000 reinforcements to help defend Kabul, which faces imminent attack by Northern Alliance forces. Late Monday the Frontier Post in Peshawar, Pakistan, is reporting the Northern Alliance front line is moving forward towards Kabul. Meanwhile, a secret meeting of Taliban commanders just before the U.S. air attacks began Sunday, resulted with commanders opting for a long term guerrila war—of the sort the U.S. originally helped them wage against the Russians.
Taliban leadership also threatened to renew the civil war in Uzbekistan, where American forces are setting up bases. A large fundamentalist movement sympathetic to the Taliban is based there. Some reports claim the Taliban leadership is now split, with senior officials breaking away from Supreme Leader Omar.
Osama bin Laden himself is thought to have moved into the Pamir mountains, part of the impassable Hindu Kush, where he can hole up and hide in the caves.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 2, 2001