ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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AFGHANISTAN-Bending the Peaks of Hindukush

Bending the Peaks of Hindukush MOSCOW'S publicists were exporting a large cargo of hope, but the responsible organs of power were only cautiously optimistic Even on March 5, the day the twice- postponed seventh round of UN-sponsored proximity talks between Pakistan and Afghanistan was inaugurated in Geneva, APN, the Soviet feature service, distributed a curtain-raiser in which it was boldly declared that "most observers agree that this round of talks has every chance to prove final". APN evidently took its cue from the spokesman of the Soviet foreign office, Cennady Gerasimov, who had hazarded as early as February 18 that the coming Geneva round would be "the final in these negotiations". The optimism was echoecj in Pakistan. The national news agency/in a despatch two days before the beginning of the Geneva talks said that there was hope in Islamabad that the seventh round would "close the gap" between the Pakistani and Afghan positions on the time-frame for the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan. Pravda, however, sounded a cautious not Writing on the eve of Geneva-VIl, it S4 that all the remaining issues could not be expected to be resolved in just one session: "it takes time to thread the web of political compromises". Pravda added quite candidly that "the events in Afghanistan show that the process of national reconciliation will be complex".

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