The Soviet Union is searching eagerly for a political solution in Afghanistan to save some face for the Kabul government, but the transition hinges on the unity of Moslem guerrillas, diplomats said.
In the past month, Soviet First Deputy Foreign Minister Yuli Vorontsov has traveled to Saudi Arabia, Italy, Iran and Pakistan in attempts to persuade disparate groups to form a broad-based government in Afghanistan."It looks like the Russians are flailing around to find a political solution to meet the absolute deadline of withdrawal," one Western diplomat in Islamabad said.
Vorontsov held talks with Pakistani officials for a second day Thursday in search of peace in Afghanistan as rebels charted strategy for their own meeting with him.
Afghan rebel sources said a meeting between Vorontsov and a delegation from the Pakistan-based guerrilla alliance was likely on Friday when, government officials said, the envoy was also expected to meet Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.
Inside Afghanistan, the Soviet-backed government reported fighting in several provinces.