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US non-committal on declaring Taliban terrorist outfit

By Staff
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New Delhi, May 3 (UNI) The United States today remained non-committal on declaring Taliban a terrorist organisation, saying the matter should be left for experts in Washington to decide, but admitted that they (Taliban) were a threat to Afghanistan, Pakistan and the people working in the war-torn country.

''The specific sort of legal matter of making them a terrorist organisation or not, I really have to leave that to the kind of experts in Washington who go through this stuff. But I don't think there is any question of what our view is of the Taliban,'' US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher said.

Mr Boucher, who held talks for 30 minutes with senior Congress leader Dr Karan Singh at his residence, told reporters that the US had expressed its opinion about Taliban and they represented a threat against Afghanistan, Pakistan, the US and Indians who are in Afghanistan.

''We have, I think, very much expressed our view about the Taliban. I don't think there's any question but that they represent a threat, both to Pakistan and Afghanistan and to the people who are there, including us, including some of the Indians who are there,'' he said in reply to a question whether it was time that the US delared Taliban a terrorist organisation.

Taliban figures on the sanctions list of the State Department of Treasury.

Mr Boucher said he had conveyed to Dr Karan Singh US concern and shock at the recent killings at Doda and Udhampur in Jammu and Kashmir and the situation after that.

Describing the killings as a ''revolting act'' he said he hoped the government would get to the bottom of the incident and figure out who carried out the killings so that steps could be taken to prevent such incidents in future.

''This is truly a revolting act that I think had the same effect on us as it did on many of you. And we do very much hope that the government can get to the bottom of it, we could figure out who did it, and we could take the appropriate steps to try to keep that sort of thing from recurring.'' MORE UNI RB MIR KN1808

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