Soviets reported hopeful for talks on Afghan status

Western diplomats said the Soviet Union appeared to be hoping that talks can be arranged among Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran to confer effective recognition on the Babrak Karmal government in Kabul. Last weekend, Pakistani Foreign Minister Aga Shahi said that conditions were favorable for a political solution and that he had asked for the appointment of a UN representative to initiate talks.

Foreign diplomats said this move came after the Soviet Union advised President Zia ul-Haq that Mr. Karmal would talk without prior recognition of his administration by Pakistan. Any such talks, the Moscow diplomats said, would be seen by Soviet officials as a success in their campaign to win wider recognition for th e Kabul government.

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