Tuesday, October 2, 2001, Chandigarh, India





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Alliance, Zahir reach accord

Rome, October 1
The ex-King of Afghanistan has reached an agreement with the opposition Northern Alliance aimed at ousting the Taliban rulers in Kabul, the two sides said today.

Under the terms of the accord, the anti-Taliban coalition called for the convening of a traditional Grand Council of Afghan leaders.

This council would, then convene a so-called Loya Jirga, made up of representatives of all of Afghanistan’s ethnic and tribal groups. The parties said, in a statement, that the Loya Jirga would elect a head of state and transitional government.

Western diplomats say that ex-King Mohammad Zahir Shah, who has lived in Italy in exile since 1973, is the only figure with the authority to assemble a broad anti-Taliban front. The Northern Alliance is the main force still fighting the Kabul regime and controls 10 per cent of Afghan territory. Reuters
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