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which was done under U.S. occupation of the city. Dear Imams, this is a test of your faith. Hundreds of Qur'ans were burned. Those who do not speak out against the burning of the Qur'an, including rare, centuries old, manuscripts, cannot be called Muslims.
April 20. ISRAELI TANK COLUMNS have entered Rafah refugee camp. Palestinians armed with rifles are resisting Jewish thugs in late model tanks. Israeli forces have also re-entered Jenin. Israeli Jews are indulging in an orgy of terror against Palestinians, in an attempt to break an entire nation and install a puppet regime.
The anniversary of Allama Iqbal, poet of the East, is here. He spoke very strongly against the western way of life. He also warned Muslims of the 'idol worship' hidden below their own Islamic exteriors. In one verse he wrote: "Jo main sur basajda huwa kabhi, to zamin say anay lagi sada/ tera dil tow hay sanam ashna, tujhay kia milay ga namaz main."
[Translation: Once when I went into prostration, a voice came from the earth saying:/ your heart loves idols, what will you get out of prayer (to the One God)?]
U.S. Forces Withdrawing from Afghanistan in Face of Classic Guerrilla Warfare
Taliban Pin Pricks, almost every day, make life Miserable for Occupation Forces
U.S. Warns Pakistan: Threat to Karzai will be seen as Anti-U.S. Move: Pakistani troops clash with Karzai's

March 20, 2003 along with the invasion of Iraq, the U.S. launched a lightning sweep in southeastern Afghanistan with 2000 troops covered by helicopter gunships. The objective was to destroy the Taliban's new deployment. A week later the U.S. offensive ended. NOT ONE OF THE TALIBAN HAD BEEN found.

A few days later, the U.S. withdrew its troops from an important staging area in eastern Afghanistan and replaced them with Italian troops.

Three weeks later, April 20, the news is that most U.S. troops are to be withdrawn and replaced by NATO forces. It's not clear on what basis NATO can occupy Afghanistan. It could be a public relations disaster because the Afghans will see this as step two in a crusade with ALL of EUROPE invading a Muslim country.

The slow but steady U.S. withdrawal comes in the backdrop of the RESURGENCE OF THE TALIBAN. Pakistani observers say that most of eastern, southeastern and southwestern Afghanistan, all along the Pakistani border, is now informally controlled by the Taliban. In Zabol province, three areas are formally controlled by the Taliban.

The TALIBAN's TACTICS: NO LOSSES plus Pin Prick Attacks on Daily Basis:

The Taliban methodology seems to as follows:
1. Great respect for U.S. firepower. Following the sweep which turned up no none, U.S. bomber aircraft dropped more than 13,000 tons of bombs on an area of suspected Taliban deployment. There were no Taliban losses but one bomb went off course and killed 11 Afghan civilians.
2. Taliban hit U.S. troops only when they are totally without cover and almost helpless. In one such attack, after the U.S. offensive ended, the Taliban killed two U.S. troops and wounded a third.
3. Attacks on the mercenary army built with U.S. funds by the Karzai "government." These attacks are growing to about two or three every week, with losses inflicted on the mercenaries and minimal Taliban losses.
4. Attacks on Karzai regime's officials who have U.S. support. The most sinister of these happened on April 13 when relatives of Kandahar's corrupt governor Gul Agha Sherzai who were visiting Chaman in Pakistan were attacked. Gul Agha's cousin was killed along with his bodyguard while his nephew was wounded along with his two soldiers. [The nephew is notorious for his escapades with women, including a woman living in America.]
5. Explosions in cities controlled by U.S. backed forces. In the middle of the night, almost every week, there are huge explosions in major cities, particularly Kabul and Jalalabad, near U.S. camps or Karzai "government" installations. Till now such explosions have caused little bodily harm but they keep American troops awake at night and create an atmosphere of lurking danger "just around the corner." The whole city hears the explosion and knows that all is not well. The explosions, observers say, are not directly Taliban related but are probably being set off by Hikmatyar's forces working with the Taliban. U.S. troops are suffering acute lack of sleep, near Kabul and in the Khost area.

April 18 there was an incident on the Pakistan-Afghanistan frontier in which Pakistani frontier militia known as Tochi scouts (mainly Pashtun) exchanged fire with Afghan "government" troops who had U.S. special forces with them. Both Pakistan, Karzai's regime and the U.S. have issued statements on this incident which are mutually contradictory. From a careful reading of these reports, the following seems to have happened:

The Karzai forces, with U.S. dollars, crossed Pakistan's border and entered a Pakistani village to induce the villagers to handover the Taliban in their area. The villagers refused. The Afghan "government" forces then ran into the Pakistani border militia, Tochi Scouts, who chased them into Afghanistan. The mercenaries, with U.S. special forces, retreated but were pursued by the Pakistanis five kilometers into Afghanistan.

The U.S. considers this incident a serious setback. The U.S. representative in Kabul, CIA agent Khalilzad, has WARNED PAKISTAN that any moves against the Karzai "government" would be seen as a threat to U.S. interests.

Musharraf's regime is working frantically to repair the damage done in this incident. Karzai was set to visit Musharraf when the clash occurred Observers say that Karzai's regime is so weak that a Pakistani military column or a Taliban Jihad group could easily move to Kabul if the U.S. air threat were not there.

After serious clashes, lasting over a week, a cease fire has been established in the northern area of Maimana. Jamiate Islami elements have fought Dostum's communist forces with heavy losses on both sides. The "northern alliance" forged with U.S. dollars has fallen apart. Jamiate Islami and Taliban should have patched up their differences long ago to stand united against Dostum's armed gangs but serious errors on both sides kept them suspicious and hostile to each other.

[A commander of Dostum's militia has been killed in an ambush in Mazare Sharif.]
INDIA DISTURBED: India's Foreign Minister, Yaswant Sinha, has expressed great concern over the RETURN OF THE TALIBAN (April 19). He tried to connect the resurgence to Pakistani support. Pakistan has rejected such insinuations. [The masses of Pakistanis in Frontier and Baluchistan provinces support the Taliban. There is little General Musharraf can do about it, although he tries.]

2003-04-20 Sun 16:01ct