Indian and Afghan students joined forces last week (28 September) in a protest march against alleged Soviet interference in Afghanistan.
Indian and Afghan students joined forces last week (28 September) in a protest march against alleged Soviet interference in Afghanistan. Chanting anti-Soviet slogans, they demanded that the Soviet Union should stop supporting the regime of Afghan premier Mr. Hafizullah Amin, which has been under attack from Afghani rebel forces since the beginning of the year.
SYNOPSIS: The demonstrator numbered two hundred in all. Many were Indian students, but sixty were from Afghanistan and studying in New Delhi. Chanting anti-Soviet slogans they marched through the city's Diplomatic Enclave towards the Soviet Embassy. The object of their march was to condemn what they claim to be unwarranted Soviet interference in Afghani affairs. They say that Soviet troops and weapons are being used to put down Afghanistan's tribal rebellion against the regime of Prime Minister Hafizullah Amin. They also sent a letter to United nations Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim, demanding an official U.N. inquiry into the situation.
At the Russian Embassy, they intended to deliver another letter addressed to Soviet President Brezhnev. Police barred their way with a rope cordon.
The demonstration remained non-violent, but noisy.
Leading the chanting were members of the Islamic Association of Patriotic Students, the body which had organised the march. Many of the slogans chanted were Islamic religious calls, in support of the Afghan tribal rebels. Reports from Kabul have indicated that the rebellion was caused by the left-wing regime's alleged lack of respect for traditional religious feeling. In an attempt to counter this unpopularity, Radio Kabul and Radio Moscow have begun adding Islamic religious messages to broadcasts in the area. But for these students, Moscow's unpopularity still remained.