Afghanistan: Backing Away From a Client

Backing Away From a Client

The report from Kabul broadcast on last week's Soviet television program International Panorama startled some viewers. Remarked veteran correspondent Mikhail Leshchinsky: "It may be said that the People's Democratic Party is not actually the ruling party in Afghanistan." Official leak or not, that represented another public step away from the Soviet-backed regime of Afghan President Najibullah. For months the ruling P.D.P. has been riven by a bitter internecine war over the correctness of Moscow and Najibullah's policy of "national reconciliation."

Leshchinsky's commentary seemed to reflect deepening Soviet pessimism about Najibullah's survival amid the outcome of the nine-year struggle against mujahedin insurgents....

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