ISLAMABAD, Sept 25, Reuter: The current chairman of the main Afghan Rebel Alliance on Sunday disowned a request for U.N. recognition by the head of an “interim government” set up by the rebels in Pakistan.

Syed Ahman Gailani said in a statement that Saturday’s application from Prime Minister designate Ahmad Shah was made in a personal capacity only.

“The designated interim Government will be conferred a legal status only when it procures a vote of confidence from an elected Shura (council),” it said.

“Till such time, the interim government does not have a mandate from (the alliance) to function and work on behalf of Mujahideen refugees and the Islamic nation of Afghanistan.”

Shah, in a message to U.N. Secretary General Javier Perez De Cuellar, asked for official recognition of his government as sole representative of Afghanistan as a preliminary step to full membership of the United Nations.

The seat is held by the Soviet backed Kabul Government.

But a Gailani aide said the matter had not been discussed by the alliance and Shah had no authority to make such a request.

Gailani’s rebuttal was issued in the name of the alliance supreme council. But the aide said Gailani had not consulted the other six parties before doing so. The Chairmanship is rotated among the seven party leaders every three months.

‘Western analysts said the affair underlined the lack of unity in the alliance, which is divided over U.N. Special envoy Diego Cordovez’s efforts to form a broad based interim Government acceptable to both Kabul and the rebels.

Shah belongs to the “fundamentalist” wing of the alliance fiercely opposed to any accommodation with Kabul, while Gailani is on the “Nationalist” wing which takes a more favourable view of Cordovez’s efforts.

The alliance set up the “interim Government” to take power after a collapse of the Kabul administration and supervise elections. No country has recognised it.

Article extracted from this publication >> September 30, 1988