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Taliban Release Pakistani Journalist

November 10, 2001

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) _ Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban militia on Saturday released a Pakistani journalist who was detained along with two other journalists after sneaking into Afghanistan last month disguised in women’s clothes.

Irfan Qureshi was arrested shortly after he and the other journalists, one French and one Pakistani, entered eastern Afghanistan on Oct. 9, hoping to escape notice by wearing the all-enveloping woman’s burka.

The Taliban handed Qureshi over to Pakistani authorities at the border crossing near Peshawar, in northwest Pakistan.

``The Taliban thought we are spies,″ Qureshi told The Associated Press.

French journalist Michel Peyrard, who works for the magazine Paris Match, was freed a week ago. The third journalist, Mukarram Khan, was still being held by the Taliban in the eastern city of Jalalabad.

The Taliban have issued only a small number of visas to foreign journalists, and have warned them not to sneak into the country illegally. Several journalists have been detained and released, though Khan and a Japanese journalist are still in custody.

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