UN aims to repatriate 100,000 Afghan refugees from Pakistan
Iran and UN plan return of 1.4 million Afghans
More blood is likely to be shed in Afghanistan

The Frontier Post, Feb.23, 2000

PESHAWAR - More blood is likely to be shed in Afghanistan as with the advent of summer the forces of Northern Alliance led by Ahmed Shah Masood have been regrouping themselves for launching a fresh attack on Taliban's positions in and around Kabul. In the winter season Northern Alliance kept all their concentration on preparation as due to snowfall and cold, the main feature of war-ravaged country fighting a war is an uphill task. According to reports from across the border, anti-Taliban warlord Ahmed Shah Masood has rehabilitated two scud launchers which had gone out of order during the fighting with Taliban. Masood had received a fresh supply of scud missiles from Russia. Reports said that some of the commanders in Kunar province who were at odds with Taliban-led government over the timber business assured their all-out help to Ahmed Shah Masood. Masood has shifted his family to his stronghold Panjsher from Tajikistan as he felt that he could defeat Taliban in the fighting likely to begin in a few days. Taliban have also been keeping watch on the movement of forces of Ahmed Shah Masood and they have been making strategy to defend Kabul, the capital of the country.

Meanwhile, according to report, a meeting of the Taliban rulers was held in Kabul city in which ways and means were discussed to woo the Afghan refugees residing Pakistan and Iran to come back to their country. With the cooperation of a number NGOs, the Taliban government offered many incentives to the refugees in case of their return to Afghanistan. It is to be mentioned here that a large of number of Afghan refugees have been living in Pakistan and Iran. After the fall of Najib government a large number of Afghan refugees have opted to go back to their country. But after the victory of Taliban the flow of repatriation has slowed down. It is the demand of the people of Pakistan that the Afghan refugees should be repatriated to their country. The United Nations had also made a plan to lure the Afghans to return to their country. The main cause of hurdles in the repatriation of Afghan refugees to their country is the continuing war in the country. "In this situation we cannot go to Afghanistan as there are all

possibilities that the war may start there any time", an owner of Afghan hotel said when approached by The Frontier Post to know the cause as why the Afghans are reluctant to go back to their country.

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