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Former King Postpones Visits to 2 Afghan Cities; Illness Is Cited

June 03, 2002|From Associated Press

KABUL, Afghanistan — Former King Mohammad Zaher Shah postponed a trip to two Afghan cities Sunday because of illness, a spokesman said.

Zaher Shah, 87, returned to Afghanistan in April after three decades in exile. He had been planning to visit the southern city of Kandahar and the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif.

Zaher Shah is "a little sick. As soon as he is OK, we will go to Kandahar," said his secretary, Amid Saddiq. He declined to elaborate.

Yousaf Pashtoon, spokesman for Kandahar Gov. Gul Agha Shirzai, said the trip would probably be postponed at least 15 days, until after a grand council is held in Kabul to choose a new government.

Zaher Shah has said he does not want the monarchy restored, but he has not ruled out serving as head of state if asked. However, he has said he doesn't want to be the head of the government.

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