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Pakistan's President Appeals to Taleban for Release of Foreign Workers

Taleban authorities in Kabul have postponed for one day the start of a trial of eight foreign aid workers accused of spreading Christianity.

Taleban legal authorities say the start of the trial was put off until Sunday to allow the detainees and their lawyer to submit papers confirming they have formally agreed that their lawyer will represent them.

The eight foreigners and 16 Afghans who worked for the international aid group Shelter Now were arrested in August by the Taleban and accused of spreading Christianity. Shelter Now officials deny the accusations.

Pakistan's President Musharraf on Friday appealed to the Taleban to release the foreigners. Pakistan's foreign ministry spokesman Riaz Mohmmed Khan on Saturday called on the Taleban to resolve the issue. "We would like this issue to be resolved quickly and amicably," he said.

Taleban officials say it is premature to discuss what punishment the foreigners would face if they are convicted. However the Afghans could face the death penalty if they are found guilty.