ISLAMABAD, Dec 12: President Pervez Musharraf reiterated support for United Nations efforts to bring durable peace and stability to Afghanistan during a meeting with UN Secretary-General representative Lakhdar Brahimi here on Wednesday.

Mr Brahimi discussed with President Musharraf the prospects of a multinational force and reservations of various Afghan factions on the interim administration.

Ahmed Fawzi, spokesman for Mr Brahimi, told a news conference that during the “cordial and friendly” meeting Mr Brahimi briefed the president on the outcome of his visit to Kabul. Mr Brahimi appreciated the government and people of Pakistan for their support to the UN’s efforts aimed at achieving peace in Afghanistan.

After he arrived here in the morning from Kabul, Mr Brahimi changed his schedule and decided to stay overnight. He would be leaving on Thursday morning.

In reply to a question about the type of cooperation Gen Musharraf had promised to extend to Mr Brahimi, the spokesman said the president had been supporting the UN efforts for long.

He said that during meetings with Mr Brahimi in Kabul, Prof Burhanuddin Rabbani, Gen Fahim, Foreign Minister Abdullah, Ayatullah Mohseni, and Prof Sayyaf, all were supportive of the Bonn agreement and they all understood the need for a security force.

SECURITY FORCE: The security force, the spokesman said, would be a friendly force which would not oppose one faction or another. The force would help people maintain security, rebuild their country and armed forces.

During Mr Brahimi’s meetings with Afghan leaders, he said, there was no outright opposition to the force but there were many questions which only the Security Council could take care of.

In reply to a question about the US view on the multinational force, Mr Fawzi said the US was a member of the Security Council and once the Security Council decided to issue a resolution, it would be in agreement with Washington.

The UN spokesman denied pressure from the Northern Alliance to limit the number of the multinational force in Kabul. He said the numbers ranging from 200 to 2,000 had been appearing in media. However, he added, the number for the multinational force was still not sure.

BONN AGREEMENT: Conceding to a reporter that the Bonn agreement is not representative of all the Afghan factions, the spokesman said the UN never said the agreement was fully representative.

“We agree that the agreement has flaws in it but it is the best we could do during the time available. You are not going to solve the problems of Afghanistan after two decades of war in a few days in Bonn.”

However, the spokesman said, the Bonn agreement provided for an interim administration for a period of six months, leading to the convening of an emergency Loya Jirga which would make momentous decisions when needed.

He said the Loya Jirga would be appointing within six months from Dec 22 a transitional administration which would be much more representative, broad-based and multi-ethnic.

Despite the fact that the interim administration was not fully representative, he said, it was a good step along a very long road towards a new constitution and holding of free and fair elections in Afghanistan within two years starting June 22, 2002.

DOSTUM’S RESERVATIONS: In reply to a question about Gen Dostum’s stand on the formation of the interim government, the UN spokesman said that Mr Brahimi had received an envoy from Gen Dostum on Monday in Islamabad who had delivered him a letter.

The letter, he said, conveyed to Mr Brahimi the problems that Gen Dostum had with the interim administration and the lack of representation his forces had within the interim government.

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