Afghans exiled in Pakistan claim that dissident Moslem tribesmen fighting the pro-Communist government of President Nur Mohammad Tarakki now control large areas of the Country, especially in provinces close to the Pakistan border.
Afghans exiled in Pakistan claim that dissident Moslem tribesmen fighting the pro-Communist government of President Nur Mohammad Tarakki now control large areas of the Country, especially in provinces close to the Pakistan border. In the Eastern Pakhtia province, they report heavy fighting along an eighty kilometre (fifty mile) front, with the government using aircraft to help troop reinforcements get through to the town of Khost. Three rival guerrilla groups have recently settled their differences to present a common front for the overthrow of President Tarakki's government. One such group is the Afghanistan Islamic Party. in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, near the Afghanistan border, one of the party's leaders, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar spoke on Tuesday (13 March) about the conflict now raging in his country.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Hekmatyar then introduced his fellow party leaders, Maulana Nabi Mohammadi, a former member of the Afghanistan parliament, and Dr. Burhanuddin Rabbani, Professor of the Islamic Law College at Kabul University. President Tarakki came to power after a bloody coup in April last year. Following the Islamic revolution in Iran, he has met with increased resistance from Moslem forces hoping to instal a similar government in Afghanistan.
Mr. Hekmatyar's party has joined the National Rescue Front and the little-known Harkate Islami to fight a Jehad, or holy war, against the Tarakki government. Rebel forces claim control of all Afghanistan's mountainous regions, leaving the government in command of only the cities. An interpreter then translated Mr. Hekmatyar's comments about the liberation struggle.