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    ISLAMABAD UNABLE TO EJECT FOREIGN MERCENARIES

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    ISLAMABAD, May 1 (RIA Novosti) - Pakistan's authorities will allow foreign mercenaries, who are entrenched in the North-West Frontier province near the Afghan border, to lay down their weapons for another seven consecutive days, Pakistani radio reported today.

    The previous ultimatum to foreign mercenaries expired April 30; however, not a single mercenary wished to be pardoned. Among other things, the Pakistani Government's amnesty plan implies that Islamabad won't extradite mercenaries to those specific countries, from where they had arrived. Moreover, the leadership of Pakistan promises to allow foreigners to remain on the territory of Pushtun tribes. Still this will happen only if former militants promise not to take any unlawful action against Pakistani national interests. (British colonizers, who had conducted an expansionist policy with regard to Afghanistan, called all Afghans "Pushtuns". The territory of some Pushtun tribes became part of British India in the late 19th century. British India was eventually divided along religious lines, with that territory becoming Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province. For its own part, the word "Pakistan" means a "pure" Islamic state - Ed.) Official authorities claim that an additional military-operation moratorium was motivated by the ongoing political negotiating process. Such talks involve mediators, i.e. old sages and chiefs of all numerous Pushtun tribes living in the North-West Frontier Province; such tribes enjoy complete local-autonomy rights.

    More than 120 people, including foreigners, their local accomplices, as well as Pakistani soldiers and border guards, were killed during a previous military operation in South Waziristan, which is named after the local Wazir tribe.

    163 people were detained in that same area. 66 persons, including 30 Afghans, have already been released. Meanwhile all others, including foreigners, are still being interrogated. Islamabad has so far declined to say anything about the nationality of those killed and detained.

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