Afghanistan's new left-wing government has launched an extensive purge of top civil servants and members of the dynasty which ruled the country for more than a year.
Afghanistan's new left-wing government has launched an extensive purge of top civil servants and members of the dynasty which ruled the country for more than a year. Reuter's news agency says about 60 foreign ministry officials have been dismissed and most ambassadors have been asked to resign.
SYNOPSIS: In Kabul, the capital, life is returning to normal after the coup. But underneath the calm surface, major changes are taking place. President Daoud was overthrown on April the 27th, and 4,000 people, including many members of his family and government, are reported to have died. Although the new President, Nur Mohammad Tarakki, claims only 60 or 70 people died in the coup, Reuter quotes reliable sources as saying this figure applies only to members of the Daoud family and government officials who were killed.
The new President, Mr Tarakki, has said bluntly that relations with the United States, the Soviet Union and other leading powers would depend on the amount of aid they were prepared to give to Afghanistan. He said Afghanistan would not become a Soviet satellite, and wanted good relations with both Washington and Moscow. He said he expected economic assistance without strings to help overcome the problems of his backward, mountainous land.
President Tarakki stressed that his government would not join any military pacts, adding that no government would be justified in interfering in Afghanistan's internal politics.
Diplomats and foreign businessmen say they have seen neighbours, relatives of the former ruling family, removed from their homes after the eleven o'clock nightly curfew. The Daoud family's property has virtually all been nationalised.