"the civil war in neighbouring Afghanistan has entered a new phase with the dice this time loaded in favour of the Taliban. Pakistan's traditional ally, Iran, would not approve of the battlefield advances now being made by the Taliban, for this is threatening the balance of power in the war- torn country. Since Iran is supportive of the northern opposition forces that are arrayed against the Taliban, its relationship with Pakistan is again bound to come under a lot of strain. Getting Iran to remain our steadfast friend is the first challenge before Mr Sartaj, the new foreign minister. Mr Sartaj hasn't performed anything spectacular in the realm of economy; it is time for him to show some mettle and bring the Afghan policy back into the control of the Foreign Office."
Frontier Post, Pakistan
"The world has not evolved a coherent response to the Taliban challenge. The European Union has suspended all aid, and foreign aid workers left Kabul when the Taliban ordered them to move to an uninhabitable dormitory or leave. But neither move suggests much awareness of the threat to stability, or a willingness to come to grips with it. The bigger danger now is to stability throughout global Muslim community. It is a danger that deserves the immediate attention of the US as well as of the 55-nation Organisation of Islamic Conference, which must see it not in terms of Shi'ite-Sunni rivalry, or regional power politics, but as a threat to global peace and an affront to modernity."
Straits Times, Singapore