Voices of an Embattled Regime

Talking with Afghanistan's three top leaders

When TIME Diplomatic Correspondent Strobe Talbott arrived at the Presidential Palace in Kabul last week, he found President Babrak Karmal as affable in manner as he was doctrinaire in his pronouncements. At the beginning and the end of a 90-minute interview, the first Kar mal has had with an American journalist, the President and party leader kissed Talbott on both cheeks in the traditional Afghan greeting, urging him to "come back some time and hunt Marco Polo sheep in our beautiful mountains." Karmal spoke mostly in English,...

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