Pakistan's foreign secretary, Inam ul-Haque, says international sanctions against the Taleban movement are hurting both Afghanistan and his own nation.
After a private meeting with the president of the U.N. Security Council, Mr. ul-Haque told reporters that the combination of drought and the sanctions are aggravating the humanitarian situation. "We have the view that sanctions have had an adverse impact on the people of Afghanistan and also, indirectly, on Pakistan," he said. "Almost 200,000 Afghani people over the past few months have moved into Pakistan and most of them are economic refugees because they have moved out partly because of the drought in Afghanistan and partly because of the imposition of sanctions."
Despite misgivings about the sanctions, Mr. ul-Haque said the Pakistani government will cooperate with U.N. representatives who are to monitor the sanctions from Pakistan.
One of the main reasons for the sanctions is the refusal of the Taleban to turn over accused terrorist Osama bin Laden. Mr. ul-Haque said the government of Pakistan has been engaged in an ongoing dialogue with Taleban leaders in an effort to resolve that issue. However, Mr. ul-Haque said Pakistan can not force the Taleban to take any action.
The Pakistani official was in New York after meetings in Washington with Mark Grossman, the U.S. undersecretary of state for political affairs.