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'Afghanistan: What Now?'

March 27, 1988

As one of the "congressional conservatives" ("Afghanistan: What Now?" editorial, March 16), who has insisted that U.S. support of the moujahedeen continue until the Soviets have completely withdrawn from Afghanistan, I would like to thank The Times for recognizing that the Najibullah government is nothing but a puppet of the Soviet Union.

Unfortunately, your editorial goes on to contradict that assertion by being critical of Pakistan for its refusal to sign a withdrawal agreement with that regime. Unless Pakistan and the United States stand firmly on the side of the Afghan people and the moujahedeen in the Geneva negotiations, the Soviets will be able to end the successful Afghan resistance without firing a further shot. The Catch-22 in the Geneva negotiations is that, should Pakistan "quell its reservations and sign" an agreement with the Soviet puppets in Kabul, they would be granting the Kabul government the legitimacy which it has sought until now but found elusive.

By invading Afghanistan and waging a genocide against the Afghan people, the Soviets have lost any moral authority to place demands on Pakistan or the United States in determining the future of Afghanistan. Soviet sacrifices or compromises to date, in the negotiations, should be considered mandatory and not met with praise.

While the prospect of a removal of foreign troops from this war-torn country is certainly a cause for hope, a withdrawal of Soviet troops alone will not end the bloodshed in Afghanistan.

Rather, a withdrawal is only a first step and should not be used as a pretext for a cutoff of U.S. military and humanitarian aid to the Afghan resistance.


R-La Verne

Member of Congress

Task Force on Afghanistan

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