‘ISLAMABAD, May 8, Reuter: A senior Pakistani of official has said that India was ruining its chances of playing a role in Afghanistan by flirting with Soviet backed Afghan President Najibullah.

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Zain Noorani was quoted by the Islamabad Daily the Muslim on Sunday as saying New Delhi would create problems for itself by supporting Najibullah.

He was referring to Najibullah’s three day visit to India last week ahead of the scheduled start on May 15 of a Soviet troop with drawl from Afghanistan under U.N. mediated accords signed in Geneva last month.

“India, having kept quiet for the last eight and a half years (of Afghan people, suddenly finds itself left out and is desperate to play some sort of a role so as to maintain its imaginary importance as a mini super power in this region”, Noorani said.

“But by flirting with Najibullah, trying to boost him up. India is ruining its own chances of having any sort of role in the future Afghanistan”, he said.

Pakistan refuses to recognize Najibullah’s government, which it says must be replaced by a transitional government with a dominant share going to the western backed Mujahideen rebels.

Noorani said Afghan people felt Najibullah was responsible for the loss of 1.2 million Afghan lives in the war and “they will never accept him nor anyone who tries to strengthen him”,

New Delhi, which is close to Moscow, has never condemned the 1979 Soviet military intervention in Afghanistan.

Pakistani, which plays host to three million Afghan refugees and the main guerrilla parties, has suspected India’s moves in the past few months to carve itself a role in the political process for peace in Afghanistan.

Indian foreign secretary K.PS. Menno visited Islamabad on Tues day where he had told Pakistani Officials that New Delhi would not undermine their position on Afghanistan.

The Geneva accords, which provide for the withdrawal of Soviet troops within nine months and the return of Afghan refugees, were signed on April 14 by Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United States and the Soviet Union.

Noorani said that in trying to create a role for itself in the final phases of the Afghan problem, India would like Pakistan and the United States to believe that it would do nothing against the interest either of them. “What is important for India today is not to ruin its newly flowering relationship with the United States because that is the country on which it is banking for tech programmes,” he said.

He said India also knew Washington was committed to ‘the same policy as Pakistan on Afghanistan and on a transitional government and “will not go to the extent of supporting Najib which would create problems for itself”.

In another interview published by the mass circulation Daily Jang on Saturday, Noorani said India’s relations with the United States and other countries would suffer if it sent troops into Afghanistan as it did in Sri Lanka.

He said Pakistan would resist any Indian “military adventurism’

Article extracted from this publication >> May 13, 1988