Afghan authorities paraded two Pakistanis before the media in chains and handcuffs in a fresh attempt to highlight cross-border infiltration by insurgents. The Governor of southern Kandahar province said the two men were would-be Taliban suicide bombers, but one of the Pakistanis told reporters he had only entered Afghanistan to fight US-led and NATO-led forces. The public display comes just over a week after Afghan President Hamid Karzai sparked a major diplomatic row by threatening to launch attacks on Islamist militants based on Pakistani soil.
“I came to Afghanistan for Jihad but am not a suicide bomber,” one of the suspects, identifying himself as Ali Ahmad in his 20s from the Pakistani city of Quetta, told reporters at the press conference in Kandahar. He said he was a student at a religious school in Pakistan and was encouraged to fight in Afghanistan by a fellow student who managed to escape arrest. The second Pakistani national, his hands and feet tied with chains and introduced as Abdul Zahir, did not speak at the news conference, which was hosted by provincial Governor Assadullah Khalid.
The two were arrested on Saturday in the Afghan border town of spin Boldak along with their afghan guide as they were on their way to the troubled Zehri district of Kandahar, Governor Khalid said. “The two Pakistani suicide bombers along with their Afghan guide were arrested two days ago. One of them, Ali Ahmad, has confessed,” Khalid said, despite Ahmad’s denial.-SANA