Afghanistan's National Unity Council Being Formed

Pakistan's newspaper Frontier Post has carried a list of Northern Alliance candidates for a Council of National Unity of Afghanistan, which is likely to meet in the town of Golbahar (80 kilometres north of the Afghan capital) in the Panjsher valley. The Council must, following an overthrow of the Taliban regime, form a transient government of the country. The list, published by the leadership of the anti-Taliban opposition and containing 60 names, includes representatives of all leading political parties and ethnic groups, the extremely small Sikh and Hindu colonies among them. By preliminary agreement reached in Rome with supporters of ex-Afghanistan king Zahir Shah, they, too, are submitting their list with the same number of names /60/. According to The Frontier Post, there are still differences in the ranks of the anti-Taliban coalition concerning Zahir Shah's candidacy as head of a future government or president of the country. In the paper's view, Yunus Qanuni, Interior Minister in the Rabbani government, and Foreign Minister Dr Abdullah have adopted a more compromising stand and do not object directly to the monarch's return to the political scene. On the other hand, General Mohammad Fahim, commander of Northern Alliance forces, who took over from the assassinated Ahmad Shah Masood, is for the incumbent president Burhanuddin Rabbani keeping his post.

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