2,191. 7/15/2001

“Niaz Naik, a former Pakistani Foreign Secretary, was told by senior American officials in mid-July [2001] that military action against Afghanistan would go ahead by the middle of October. Mr. Naik said US officials told him of the plan at a UN-sponsored international contact group on Afghanistan which took place in Berlin. Mr. Naik told the BBC that at the meeting the US representatives told him that unless Bin Laden was handed over swiftly America would take military action to kill or capture both Bin Laden and the Taleban leader, Mullah [Mohammad] Omar. The wider objective, according to Mr. Naik, would be to topple the Taleban regime and install a transitional government of moderate Afghans in its place–possibly under the leadership of the former Afghan King Zahir Shah.” [The 15th of the month used for date sorting purposes only.]

 – George Arney, “US ‘planned attack on Taleban,'” BBC News, Sep. 18, 2001

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