GENEVA, MARCH 7, REUTER —UN — Sponsored talks on the Afghan conflict resume on Monday with little sign of compromise by Pakistan which insists on a new government in Kabul.
Indirect negotiations between Pakistan and Afghanistan broke for the weekend while Pakistan’s minister of state for foreign affairs Zain Noorani flew home to consult his government and opposition leaders.
Noorani retuned on Sunday night, talking tougher than before. “We feel the formation of an interim government is as important as signing a treaty,”Noorani told reporters on his return.
The talks are aimed at getting the Soviet Union to pull out its estimated 115,000 troops, sent in December 1979 to prop up the Kabul administration.
But Pakistan — negotiating as host and ally of millions of Afghan refugees and guerrillas —is worried that unless a new, broad based government is formed, the more than eight year old Afghan war will continue and the refugees will not go home.
Asked if he was still insisting on anew administration, Noorani said, It’s not a matter of my opinion. It’s a matter of bartering away the freedom of a nation, a matter of people who have sacrificed one million lives.”
One in 15 Afghans has been killed, and one in three has fled the country.
Before departing from Geneva last week, Noorani left open the possibility of agreeing to sign with the present Kabul government provided that Islamabad was certain anew government would be installed.
He did not say specifically what the Pakistani cabinet has decided but said his government needed to see concessions from Moscow wants a definite reply from them, if they are going to cooperate after occupying Afghanistan for 81/2 years.”
Asked if a new government would have to precede signature, he said; “let them tell us if they will cooperate on an interim government or not”
World Sikh Organization has published a booklet of the series of 31 letters, written by an eminent jurist of India, Mr. Ramjethmillani, to Rajiv Gandhi, the Prime Minister of India, questioning his integrity and honesty while dealing with various scandals and kickbacks.
The booklet can be obtained from:
Mr. Amarjit Singh Buttar, 78 Kenneth Dr., Vernon, Ct. 06066 or call (203) 871-2572 or Dr. Manohar Singh Grewal, President W.S.O. (USA) (617) 8265335. ;
Article extracted from this publication >> March 11, 1988