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Afghan Exiles: U-S Airstrikes Should Stop, Bin Laden Should Leave - 2001-10-25


More than one-thousand Afghan exiles are calling for an end to U-S airstrikes in Afghanistan while urging the former Afghan king to play a key role in the country's political future.

The group also demanded that foreigners who add more to Afghanistan's miseries leave the country -- a reference to suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden and the mostly Arab members of his al-Qaida terrorist group hiding in Afghanistan.

Mr. bin Laden is the top suspect in the September 11th terrorist attacks in the United States.

The final declaration came (Thursday) at the end of a two-day meeting in Peshawar, Pakistan. It calls for a traditional grand assembly (loya jirga) of all Afghan ethnic groups, with a leading role in any new government for former king, Zahir Shah, who is in exile in Rome.

The organizer of the meeting, exiled Afghan leader Pir Sayed Ahmad Gailani said the United Nations should also deploy a peacekeeping force, made up of troops from Muslim nations, until law and order can be restored in Afghanistan..

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