After the downfall of Kabul the Pashtoon emigrant organisations and associations, which are planning their own offensive against the Taliban in the south of Afghanistan, have sharply intensified their activity. According to the Pakistani newspaper The News, in Peshawar the members of the so-called Sura (Council) of the eastern zone of Afghanistan (Provinces of Nangarhar, Kunar, Laghman and the historical region of Nuristan), headed by political leader Haji Zaman, held a number of consultations with the chiefs and the elders of the Pashtoon tribes with the aim of opening a new front for fighting against the Taliban and establishing their own power in the east of the country. "Very soon we shall form our own government in Jalalabad," said Zaman in this connection. At their yesterday's conference the Afghan leaders called upon the Northern Alliance to restrain from moving to southern and eastern provinces of Afghanistan to avoid a bloodshed. The Sura comes out for the earliest session of the Loya Jirga (a traditional assembly of the tribes' elders) and also for the leading role of ex-King Zahir Shah in the future political regime in the country. On Tuesday, another conference of Afghan leaders took place in the town of Chaman (Baluchistan Province) bordering on Afghanistan. It was attended by Hamid Karzai, former deputy Foreign Minister in the government of mujahedins and the leader of the half a million Pashtoon tribe Popolzai, as well as Gol Asha Barakzai, former governor of Kandahar. The conference participants discussed the possible offensive on Kandahar. Another group of emigrant leaders, also acting in Peshawar, is the National Islamic Front of Afghanistan under the leadership of Ahmad Shah Gelani. Their followers also support Zahir Shah and are flatly against the participation of representatives of the Taliban in the future government. In all other things Gelani's position coincides with the point of view of official Islamabad which comes out for the demilitarisation of Kabul and bringing into the city a UN peacekeeping contingent consisting of armed forces of the Moslem member-countries of the Islamic Conference Organisation.
The Americans came to realise that they would have to either leave the region or weaken their presence there. It is Russia that is filling the vacuum now