The Afghan government has called for talks with pakistan and Iran which it says could pave the way for a withdrawal of Soviet troops from its territory.
CU: Abid Zareef Khan speaking in English
KHAN: "(Indistinct) Shigal from the hands of the freedom fighters. They are permitting, in other words, the Russian columns to move freely by day between Tarakki and Asmar to carry out their normal routine, race and support activities. I have seen with my own eyes the Russian troops standing on top of their tanks while they move beside the Guna (phonetic) River daily. This indicated that the Russian army is getting more bold day by day as they know the resistance from the freedom fighters in getting weaker with the passage of time. Why the wakenesses on the Mujahideen side is that although they are highly motivated, they are prepared to die to the last man, but as there is no outside support to these freedom fighters the Russians can only take advantage off this. They know that if a freedom fighter, a sniper, shoots at them from a distance their lifesaving bullet-proof jackets would save their lives. But, I witnessed on one day the snipers were able to shoot down one Russian soldier on top of the tank by aiming at his neck."
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Background: The Afghan government has called for talks with pakistan and Iran which it says could pave the way for a withdrawal of Soviet troops from its territory. The government statement said that the two countries would have to give pledges, backed by the United States and the Soviet Union, not to commit hostile acts against Afghanistan. The U.S. Secretary of State, Mr Edmund Muskie, has dismissed the statement as "cosmetic" and "not meaningful". Meanwhile, an Afghan rebel has told Visnews that he witnessed the Soviet capture of the towns of Shigal and Shinkorak. Abid Zareef Khan said a hundred rebels were killed when the two towns feel to the Soviet tank and air assaults.