ISLAMABAD, March 27, Reuter: President Mohammad Zia ul Haq said on Sunday Pakistan would be the next target if Moslem guerrillas fighting Soviet troops in neighboring Afghanistan were defeated.

He said in a speech here the Afghan rebels were not only fighting for their own freedom but also for Pakistan’s defence.

“If God forbid, God forbid, the Afghans are defeated the next turn will be Pakistan”, General ZiaulHaq said at a book launching ceremony.

 Pakistan is host to about three million Afghan refugees and to most Afghan guerrilla parties.

The Soviet Union has already offered to pull its estimated 115.000 troops from Afghanistan. But after six years of negotiations, a U.N. mediated agreement in Geneva is being held up by disputes over Soviet military supplies to Kabul and the composition of a future Afghan government.

Zia said more than 90 percent of Pakistanis supported the Afghans” cause and only a negligible minority were raising a hue and cry, referring to criticism of his Afghan policy by opposition politicians.

“If anything happens to (our) Afghan brothers. Pakistan will be smashed.” Zia told hi

Pakistan wants a neutral transitional government to replace the present Kabul government of President Najibullah. It is also demanding with Washington that Moscow halts its military aid to Kabul in return for an end to the U.S. aid to the rebels.

Both the demands are rejected by Moscow and Kabul. Which accuse Islamabad and Washington of trying to stall the accord.

Article extracted from this publication >> April 1, 1988