Afghan wrestlers defect on eve of Moscow flight

Afghanistan's seven-man Olympic wrestling team defected to Pakistan just before it was due to fly to Moscow for the summer games. The Islamic Alliance for the Liberation of Afghanistan said the team arrived Sunday in Peshawar, in north Pakistan. The team left from Kabul July 1 and made the journey to the Pakistan border on foot. Team members said they were told to tell journalists at the games that conditions in Afghanistan were excellent. They said they had been prevented from competing in games in Iran during the spring because Soviet officials in Afghanistan feared they might seek asylum. Instead, they were sent to a training camp and were brought back to Kabul just before their scheduled departure date for Moscow.

In other developments here, Pakistan's Shia Muslim leaders claimed a victory Monday over President Zia ulHaq's government after three days of protests forced it to change controversial new wealth-tax laws. About 25,000 Shias demonstrated outside the government's secretariat here, claiming the taxes should be voluntary.

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