Acting President Calls for Peaceful Transfer AFGHANISTAN

Article excerpt

AFGHANISTAN'S acting president said April 21 that his government was ready to transfer power to mujahideen guerrillas surrounding Kabul.

Acting President Abdul Rahim Hatif said at a news conference that the only problem was that the mujahideen must unite and form a government to which power could be transferred.

"Our main objective is that a transfer of power should be peaceful," he said.

Mr. Hatif's conference was his first since he was appointed following the overthrow of President Najibullah April 16. Asked about a threat by hard-line guerrilla leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar to attack Kabul, Hatif said his regime did not intend to hand over power to a single group within the fragmented mujahideen.

Mr. Hekmatyar, an Islamic fundamentalist, is massing his forces south of Kabul while his old enemy, Ahmed Shah Massoud, leads a coalition of mujahideen fighters and defecting government troops to the north. Hekmatyar has threatened to attack Kabul by April 26 unless the government capitulates.

Hatif, who was Mr. …

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