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Taleban Rejects Bush Offer of 'Second Chance' - 2001-10-13

Taleban authorities have rejected President Bush's offer of a "second chance" to surrender Saudi fugitive and alleged terrorist, Osama bin Laden. Pakistan is warning foreign journalists not to try and cross the border into Afghanistan.

Senior Taleban officials say their position on alleged terrorist leader Osama bin Laden has not changed and that the Taleban will not surrender the Saudi fugitive until credible evidence is presented showing his involvement in the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States.

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry on Saturday warned foreign journalists not to try and enter restricted areas along its border with Afghanistan or Afghanistan itself, saying those who do could face serious consequences, including deportation. The Taleban have also banned foreign journalists from Afghanistan, and have arrested several that have slipped across the border.

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry on Saturday also sought to clarify the extent of its logistical support being offered to the United States. Foreign Ministry spokesman Riaz Mohammed Khan says Pakistani territory will only be used in an emergency situation. "Some of the operations are being carried out from the Indian Ocean by the U.S. planes and it is quite possible, in such circumstances, that the planes may need to land on an airstrip in an emergency situation," he said.

Meanwhile, Pakistani authorities in the port city of Karachi have detained a radical supporter of the Taleban, Abdullah Shah Mazar.

And, in another development, a spokesman for the Kashmir militant group, Jaish-i-Mohammed, has denied U.S. charges that his organization is a terrorist group. The U.S. government ordered the freezing of assets of Jaish-i-Mohammed and 38 other groups, saying they are terrorist organizations. Jaish-i-Mohammed first claimed and later denied responsibility for a suicide bombing last month in Indian-administered Kashmir. The attack killed 38 people.